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Spin manipulation by creation of single-molecule radical cations

Spin manipulation by creation of single-molecule radical cations

S. Karan, N. Li, Y. Zhang, Y. He, I-P. Hong, H. Song, J.-T. Lü, Y. Wang, L. Peng, K. Wu, G. S. Michelitsch, R. J. Maurer, K. Diller, K. Reuter, A. Weissmann, and R. Berndt, Phys. Rev. Lett., 116, 027201 (2016)

We investigate magnetic switching of all-trans-retinoic acid adsorbed on a Au(111) surface using Scanning Tunneling Microscopy and Density Functional Theory.

All-trans-retinoic acid (ReA), a closed-shell organic molecule comprising only C, H, and O atoms, is investigated on a Au(111) substrate using scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy. In dense arrays single ReA molecules are switched to a number of states, three of which carry a localized spin as evidenced by conductance spectroscopy in high magnetic fields. The spin of a single molecule may be reversibly switched on and off without affecting its neighbours. We suggest that ReA on Au is readily converted to a radical by the abstraction of an electron.

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