Exchange interaction between magnetic adatoms on surfaces of noble metals

E. Simon, B. Újfalussy, B. Lazarovits, A. Szilva, L. Szunyogh, G. M. Stocks

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We present first-principles calculations of the exchange interactions between magnetic impurities deposited on (001), (110), and (111) surfaces of Cu and Au and analyze them, in particular, in the asymptotic regime. For the (110) and the (111) surfaces, we demonstrate that the interaction shows an oscillatory behavior as a function of the distance, R, of the impurities and that the amplitude of the oscillations decays as 1/R2. Furthermore, the frequency of the oscillations is closely related to the length of the Fermi vector of the surface states existing on these surfaces. Due to the asymmetry of the surface-states dispersion, the frequency of the oscillations becomes also asymmetric on the (110) surfaces, while on the Au(111) surface two distinct frequencies are found in the oscillations as a consequence of the Bychkov-Rashba splitting of the surface states. Remarkably, no long-range oscillations of the exchange interaction are observed for the (001) surfaces where the surface states are unoccupied. When burying the impurities beneath the surface layer, oscillations mediated by the bulk states become visible.

Original languageEnglish
Article number224416
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Jun 23 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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