Simulation of spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy on complex magnetic surfaces: Case of a Cr monolayer on Ag(111)

K. Palotás, Werner A. Hofer, L. Szunyogh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We propose an atom-superposition-based method for simulating spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy (SP-STM) from first principles. Our approach provides bias-dependent STM images in high spatial resolution, with the capability of using either constant current or constant height modes of STM. In addition, topographic and magnetic contributions can clearly be distinguished, which are directly comparable to results of SP-STM experiments in the differential magnetic mode. Advantages of the proposed method are that it is computationally cheap, it is easy to parallelize, and it can employ the results of any ab initio electronic structure code. Its capabilities are illustrated for the prototype frustrated hexagonal antiferromagnetic system, Cr monolayer on Ag(111) in a noncollinear magnetic 120Néel state. We show evidence that the magnetic contrast is sensitive to the tip electronic structure, and this contrast can be reversed depending on the bias voltage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number174428
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Volume84
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 21 2011

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Scanning tunneling microscopy
Electronic structure
scanning tunneling microscopy
Monolayers
electronic structure
Bias voltage
simulation
spatial resolution
prototypes
Atoms
high resolution
electric potential
atoms
Experiments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials

Cite this

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