Does Hydrogen Atom Make Graphene Magnetic?


Graphene has many exceptional mechanical and electronic properties, but it is not magnetic. To make it magnetic, the simplest strategy is to modify its electronic structure to create unpaired electrons.

Hydrogen Atom Makes Graphene Magnetic

Researchers can achieve this, for example, by removing individual carbon atoms or by adsorbing hydrogen onto graphene.

This must be done in a very controlled way because of a special feature of the graphene crystal lattice, which consists of two sublattices. Gonzales-Herrero et al. deposited a single hydrogen atom on graphene and used scanning tunneling microscopy to detect magnetism on the sublattice that lacks the deposited atom (see the perspective of Hollen and Gupta).

Isolated hydrogen atoms adsorbed on graphene are predicted to induce magnetic moments.

Here we show that adsorption of a single hydrogen atom on graphene induces a magnetic moment characterized by a ~20 millielectron volt spin split state at the Fermi energy.

Our scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) experiments, complemented by first-principles calculations, show that such a spin-polarized state is essentially localized on the carbon sublattice opposite to the one in which the hydrogen atom is chemisorbed.

Hydrogen Atoms Can Be Manipulated with Atomic Precision

Isolated hydrogen atoms adsorbed on graphene are predicted to induce magnetic moments.

Here we show that adsorption of a single hydrogen atom onto graphene induces a magnetic moment characterized by a ~20 millielectron volt spin split state at the Fermi energy.

Our scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) experiments, complemented by first-principles calculations, show that such a spin-polarized state is essentially localized on the carbon sublattice opposite to the one in which the hydrogen atom is chemisorbed.

This atomically modulated spin texture, extending several nanometers from the hydrogen atom, drives direct coupling between magnetic moments over unusually large distances.

By manipulating hydrogen atoms with atomic precision using the STM tip, it is possible to tailor the magnetism of selected graphene regions.