Control of the local magnetic states in graphene with voltage and gating

Fei Gao, Yu Zhang, Lin He, Shiwu Gao, Mads Brandbyge

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Magnetism of graphene can be created by atomic defects, either hydrogen adsorption or single-carbon vacancy formation, owing to the unpaired π electrons around the defects. Here we explore, based on rigorous first principles calculations, the possibility of voltage manipulation of two such types of π magnetism in graphene via a scanning tunneling microscope tip. We find a remarkably different behavior. For the hydrogen, the magnetic moment can be switched on and off with voltage-induced doping, whereas, for the carbon vacancy, the spin splitting of the π bands persists, almost independent of the extent of doping, due to the coupling between the π and the σ bonds. Furthermore, the local atomic structures near the vacancy can be reversibly manipulated by a coordination mechanism between an intermediate tip-defect distance and a moderate tip voltage, consequently leading to the reversal of spin polarization of the π bands. Voltage control of the local magnetic states may open a new avenue for potential applications in spintronics.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL241402
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number24
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project received funding from the EU Horizon 2020 under Grant No. 766726. C.N.G. is sponsored by the Danish Research Foundation (DNRF103). S.G. acknowledges support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (11934003, 21961132023, U1930402) and the MOST of China (2017YFA0303404).


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