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Nano Lett. 2008 Jan;8(1):241-5. Epub 2007 Dec 5.

Graphene nanoFlakes with large spin.

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Department of Physics and School of Engineering & Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA.


We investigate, using benzenoid graph theory and first-principles calculations, the magnetic properties of arbitrarily shaped finite graphene fragments to which we refer as graphene nanoflakes (GNFs). We demonstrate that the spin of a GNF depends on its shape due to topological frustration of the pi-bonds. For example, a zigzag-edged triangular GNF has a nonzero net spin, resembling an artificial ferrimagnetic atom, with the spin value scaling with its linear size. In general, the principle of topological frustration can be used to introduce large net spin and interesting spin distributions in graphene. These results suggest an avenue to nanoscale spintronics through the sculpting of graphene fragments.


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