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Probing the influence of the graphene-metal interaction on the electronic and magnetic properties of nearly free standing graphene (ELECTROMAGRAPHENE)
Start date: May 1, 2013, End date: Apr 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"Exploring the effects of the interaction of graphene with different materials is an interesting topic from a fundamental point of view and also for future applications of this new material. The research project exposed below proposes to study newly emerging properties of graphene when it is combined with other materials. The starting point will be to obtain high quality graphene monolayers in a way that they are as much as possible decoupled from their environment. Then such nearly free standing graphene will be combined under controlled conditions with others materials and the way these materials affect the electronic structure of graphene will be investigated. In the present research plan three examples of such graphene hybrid systems are of interest. First, we will study the effect of an isolated cluster composed of metallic adatoms on the electronic properties of a graphene monolayer. Scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy (STM/STS) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) measurements will be performed to extract information about the local effect of the clusters on the properties of graphene and about the binding of the clusters to graphene. Second, the possibility of achieving the controlled tune of the magnetic properties of graphene by combining it with others materials will be explored. Interestingly, it is well known that f-orbitals of rare earth elements, which exhibit high magnetic moments, do not tend to hybridize with pz-orbitals of graphene. Thus, the intercalation of layers of rare earth elements is proposed in order to achieve “ferromagnetic” graphene by inducing a spin split Dirac cone. The combination of STM/STS with X-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD) and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) with spin resolution is ideal for this study. Finally, if this ferromagnetic graphene is achieved the study of the properties of Rh magnetic clusters adsorbed on it will be performed by XMCD and also by spìn resolved ARPES."

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