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Growth, Characterization and Modeling of Magnetic Nanostructures at Surfaces

English title Growth, Characterization and Modeling of Magnetic Nanostructures at Surfaces
Applicant Brune Harald
Number 152406
Funding scheme SCOPES
Research institution Institut de physique de la matière condensée EPFL - SB - ICMP
Institution of higher education EPF Lausanne - EPFL
Main discipline Condensed Matter Physics
Start/End 01.06.2014 - 31.05.2017
Approved amount 193'800.00
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Keywords (6)

Self-Assembly; Nanostructures; Magnetism; Density Functional Theory; Scanning Tunneling Microscopy; Magnetic Storage

Lay Summary (German)

Magnetische Eigenschaften von Graphene und Bohrnitrid adsorbierten magnetischen Atomen und Nanostrukturen
Lay summary

Dieses Forschungsvorhaben untersucht die magnetischen Eigenschaften von einzelnen magnetischen Übergangsmetallatomen, wie Co und Fe, und von Strukturen die nur wenige solche Atome enthalten. Die Einzelatome sowie die kleinen Atomcluster sind auf Graphene und hexagonalem Bohrnitrid Schichten, die auf Metalloberflächen gewachsen werden, adsorbiert. Beide Schichten sind nur eine Atomlage hoch und haben großes Potenzial für elektronische Bauelemente. Ihre Kombination mit magnetischen Elementen ermöglicht Anwendungen bei denen der Elektronen Spin und nicht wie üblich die Elektronenladung die Information trägt. Dies ermöglicht elektronische Komponenten die deutlich weniger Energie verbrauchen als bisher. Die Gruppe in Lausanne untersucht diese Strukturen im Experiment und die beiden Gruppen in Belgrad führen theoretische Rechnungen dazu durch. 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 04.04.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


Spin Excitations in a 4f−3d Heterodimer on MgO
Singha A., Donati F., Natterer F. D., Wäckerlin C., Stavrić S., Popović Z. S., Šljivančanin Ž., Patthey F., Brune H. (2018), Spin Excitations in a 4f−3d Heterodimer on MgO, in Physical Review Letters, 121(25), 257202-257202.
Theory of time-dependent nonequilibrium transport through a single molecule in a nonorthogonal basis setDRAŽIĆ et al.
Dražić Miloš S., Cerovski Viktor, Zikic Radomir (2017), Theory of time-dependent nonequilibrium transport through a single molecule in a nonorthogonal basis setDRAŽIĆ et al., in International Journal of Quantum Chemistry, 117(1), 57-73.
Adsorption sites of individual metal atoms on ultrathin MgO(100) films
Fernandes Edgar, Donati Fabio, Patthey François, Stavric Srdjan, Sljivancanin Zeljko, Brune Harald (2017), Adsorption sites of individual metal atoms on ultrathin MgO(100) films, in Phys. Rev. B, 96, 045419.
Magnetic remanence in single atoms
Donati Fabio et al. (2016), Magnetic remanence in single atoms, in Science, 352(6283), 318.


Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Nano Center Serbia Serbien (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Vinca Institute of Nuclear Sciences Serbien (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Institute of Physics Belgrade Serbien (Europe)
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
From Solid State to Biophysics VIII: From Basic to Life Sciences Talk given at a conference Realizing the smallest surface adsorbed quantum magnets 04.06.2016 Cavtat, Croatia Brune Harald;

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
157081 Quantum Properties of Nanostructures at Surfaces 01.10.2014 Project funding (Div. I-III)
176932 Quantum Magnets at Surfaces 01.10.2017 Project funding (Div. I-III)


The emerging ability to control matter at the most fundamental level has enabled production of novel, low-dimensional structures with tailored features and functionalities. The structural and electronic properties of these systems can be directly measured by several experimental techniques, e.g. scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) or X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), while magnetic properties are successfully measured applying X-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD). Due to an enormous growth in computing power and advances in numerical methodologies during the last decade, the computational modelling of materials has matured to the stage which allows description of the properties of studied structures with time and spatial resolution not always accessible even with the cutting-edge experimental methods. The main scientific aim of this project is to combine world class expertise and experimental infrastructure of the research group from EPFL with high level competence in the computational modeling of materials, acquired by Serbian research teams from Vinca Institute and Institute of Physics, both located in Belgrade, to investigate magnetism in transition metal nanostructures grown on graphene and hexagonal boron-nitride (h-BN). The synergy between experiment and theory will provide insights into physical properties of the studied structures, with the level of details which is beyond capabilities of any of applied methods alone. Specifically we plan to study:(i) spin and orbital magnetism of small Fe and Co clusters on a free-standing graphene and h-BN layer.(ii) structural and magnetic properties of Fe and Co clusters on graphene and h-BN grown on close-packed surfaces of Pt, Ni and Rh.(iii) substrate effects on the magnetism in Co adatoms on graphene supported by Ir(111) and Ru(0001).(iv) structural properties of Co or Ni films deposited on graphene grown on ferromagnetic transition metals (Co and Ni), together with the spin-transport in these heterostructures.(v) spin-transport in Co/graphene/Co(0001) and Co/h-BN/Ni(111) sandwich structures with the focus on the role of the h-BN barrier.In addition to anticipated high level research results, the project will strengthen networking of Serbian researchers with top class European research groups and institutions, and enhance quality of the training programs of four young scientists, members of research teams from Vinca Institute and Institute of Physics Belgrade.The project also offers opportunity to use visits of EPFL team members to Belgrade to transfer their highly valuable knowledge and skills in experimental condensed mater physics to Serbian scientists. This will enrich scientific activities and competence of researchers at Vinca Institute and Institute of Physics Belgrade, as well as at Nano Center Belgrade, a new national shared facility institution expected to start its operation by the end of 2013. Since the studies planned within this SCOPES project will utilize graphene as a key material for engineering of magnetic nanostructures, the project will have a favorable impact on the aims of Serbian research teams to actively participate in recently launched large-scale GRAPHENE FLAGSHIP project of European Commission.