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1.  Structure, morphology, and magnetic properties of Fe nanoparticles deposited onto single-crystalline surfaces 
Background: Magnetic nanostructures and nanoparticles often show novel magnetic phenomena not known from the respective bulk materials. In the past, several methods to prepare such structures have been developed – ranging from wet chemistry-based to physical-based methods such as self-organization or cluster growth. The preparation method has a significant influence on the resulting properties of the generated nanostructures. Taking chemical approaches, this influence may arise from the chemical environment, reaction kinetics and the preparation route. Taking physical approaches, the thermodynamics and the kinetics of the growth mode or – when depositing preformed clusters/nanoparticles on a surface – the landing kinetics and subsequent relaxation processes have a strong impact and thus need to be considered when attempting to control magnetic and structural properties of supported clusters or nanoparticles.
Results: In this contribution we focus on mass-filtered Fe nanoparticles in a size range from 4 nm to 10 nm that are generated in a cluster source and subsequently deposited onto two single crystalline substrates: fcc Ni(111)/W(110) and bcc W(110). We use a combined approach of X-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD), reflection high energy electron diffraction (RHEED) and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) to shed light on the complex and size-dependent relation between magnetic properties, crystallographic structure, orientation and morphology. In particular XMCD reveals that Fe particles on Ni(111)/W(110) have a significantly lower (higher) magnetic spin (orbital) moment compared to bulk iron. The reduced spin moments are attributed to the random particle orientation being confirmed by RHEED together with a competition of magnetic exchange energy at the interface and magnetic anisotropy energy in the particles. The RHEED data also show that the Fe particles on W(110) – despite of the large lattice mismatch between iron and tungsten – are not strained. Thus, strain is most likely not the origin of the enhanced orbital moments as supposed before. Moreover, RHEED uncovers the existence of a spontaneous process for epitaxial alignment of particles below a critical size of about 4 nm. STM basically confirms the shape conservation of the larger particles but shows first indications for an unexpected reshaping occurring at the onset of self-alignment.
Conclusion: The magnetic and structural properties of nanoparticles are strongly affected by the deposition kinetics even when soft landing conditions are provided. The orientation of the deposited particles and thus their interface with the substrate strongly depend on the particle size with consequences regarding particularly the magnetic behavior. Spontaneous and epitaxial self-alignment can occur below a certain critical size. This may enable the obtainment of samples with controlled, uniform interfaces and crystallographic orientations even in a random deposition process. However, such a reorientation process might be accompanied by a complex reshaping of the particles.
PMCID: PMC3045938  PMID: 21977415
epitaxy; iron; magnetic nanoparticles; Ni(111); RHEED; spontaneous self-alignment; STM; W(110); XMCD
2.  Controlling spins in adsorbed molecules by a chemical switch 
Nature Communications  2010;1(5):1-7.
The development of chemical systems with switchable molecular spins could lead to the architecture of materials with controllable magnetic or spintronic properties. Here, we present conclusive evidence that the spin of an organometallic molecule coupled to a ferromagnetic substrate can be switched between magnetic off and on states by a chemical stimulus. This is achieved by nitric oxide (NO) functioning as an axial ligand of cobalt(II)tetraphenylporphyrin (CoTPP) ferromagnetically coupled to nickel thin-film (Ni(001)). On NO addition, the coordination sphere of Co2+ is modified and a NO–CoTPP nitrosyl complex is formed, which corresponds to an off state of the Co spin. Thermal dissociation of NO from the nitrosyl complex restores the on state of the Co spin. The NO-induced reversible off–on switching of surface-adsorbed molecular spins observed here is attributed to a spin trans effect.
Chemical systems with switchable molecular spins could allow the development of materials with controllable spintronic properties. Here, the authors show that nitric oxide coordination to cobalt(II)tetraphenylporphyrin on a nickel surface, followed by thermal dissociation, leads to off-on spin switching.
PMCID: PMC2964454  PMID: 20975713

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