Atomic carbon chains as spin-transmitters: An ab initio transport study
DTU Nanotech - Department of Micro- and Nanotechnology, NanoDTU, Technical University of Denmark DK-2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark
2 Aalto University, Department of Applied Physics - P.O. Box 11100, FI-00076 Aalto, Finland
Accepted: 13 July 2010
An atomic carbon chain joining two graphene flakes was recently realized in a ground-breaking experiment by Jin et al. (Phys. Rev. Lett., 102 (2009) 205501). We present ab initio results for the electron transport properties of such chains and demonstrate complete spin-polarization of the transmission in large energy ranges. The effect is due to the spin-polarized zig-zag edge terminating each graphene flake causing a spin-splitting of the graphene πz bands, and the chain states. Transmission occurs when the graphene π-states resonate with similar states in the strongly hybridized edges and chain. This effect should in general hold for any π-conjugated molecules bridging the zig-zag edges of graphene electrodes. The polarization of the transmission can be controlled by chemically or mechanically modifying the molecule, or by applying an electrical gate.
PACS: 73.63.Nm – Quantum wires / 73.63.Fg – Nanotubes
© EPLA, 2010