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Phys Rev Lett. 2007 Oct 26;99(17):177204. Epub 2007 Oct 23.

Magnetism in graphene nanoislands.

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Departamento de Física Aplicada, Universidad de Alicante, San Vicente del Raspeig, Alicante E-03690, Spain.


We study the magnetic properties of nanometer-sized graphene structures with triangular and hexagonal shapes terminated by zigzag edges. We discuss how the shape of the island, the imbalance in the number of atoms belonging to the two graphene sublattices, the existence of zero-energy states, and the total and local magnetic moment are intimately related. We consider electronic interactions both in a mean-field approximation of the one-orbital Hubbard model and with density functional calculations. Both descriptions yield values for the ground state total spin S consistent with Lieb's theorem for bipartite lattices. Triangles have a finite S for all sizes whereas hexagons have S=0 and develop local moments above a critical size of approximately 1.5 nm.

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