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Phys Rev Lett. 2010 Mar 5;104(9):096804. Epub 2010 Mar 5.

Missing atom as a source of carbon magnetism.

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Departamento de Física de la Materia Condensada, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, E-28049 Madrid, Spain.


Atomic vacancies have a strong impact in the mechanical, electronic, and magnetic properties of graphenelike materials. By artificially generating isolated vacancies on a graphite surface and measuring their local density of states on the atomic scale, we have shown how single vacancies modify the electronic properties of this graphenelike system. Our scanning tunneling microscopy experiments, complemented by tight-binding calculations, reveal the presence of a sharp electronic resonance at the Fermi energy around each single graphite vacancy, which can be associated with the formation of local magnetic moments and implies a dramatic reduction of the charge carriers' mobility. While vacancies in single layer graphene lead to magnetic couplings of arbitrary sign, our results show the possibility of inducing a macroscopic ferrimagnetic state in multilayered graphene just by randomly removing single C atoms.

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