Research report 2014 - Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics

Helical magnetism in iron nanoislands

Authors
Sander, Dirk; Kirschner, Jürgen
Departments
Experimental Department 1
Summary
Two-dimensional iron islands, some thousand atoms small, exhibit a novel magnetic order on the nanometer scale, which was discovered by spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy. The local magnetization direction of iron rotates continuously over five nearest neighbor distances by 360 degrees. For iron, this magnetic order is unusual, and it is ascribed to the reduced dimensionality of the iron nanostructure. Structural relaxation within the nanostructure modifies the spin-dependent interaction between electrons, and a non-collinear spin alignment results.

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