Addressing the quantum spin of single atoms and molecules

Materials Colloquium 2020 - November, 4th, 16:30


Sebastian Stepanow (Magnetism and Interface Physics, D-MATL, ETHZ)

Magnetic resonance techniques are widely employed for probing the electronic and magnetic properties of solids, liquids, and molecules as well as for their elemental and structural characterization. These techniques probe with high precision the excitation of the magnetic states of an atom, or of a nucleus, and provide information on their chemical environment. For instance, electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) is routinely used for non-invasive spin detection in materials science and chemistry research. However, conventional magnetic resonance techniques can only detect a macroscopic number of spins (~107 electron spins, ~1012 nuclear spins) and have poor spatial resolution. Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), on the other hand, is a unique technique to achieve subatomic spatial resolution with simultaneous local spectroscopic information of single atoms and molecules on conductive surfaces.  Recently, the two techniques were combined to probe magnetic interactions and properties of single spins on surfaces. In this presentation, I will introduce the EPR-STM technique and highlight recent advances. 

Overview Materials Colloquium 2020