Suppression of spin polarization in graphene nanoribbons by edge defects and impurities

Phys. Rev. B 77, 153411 – Published 25 April 2008
Bing Huang, Feng Liu, Jian Wu, Bing-Lin Gu, and Wenhui Duan


We investigate the effect of edge defects (vacancies) and impurities (substitutional dopants) on the robustness of spin polarization in graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) with zigzag edges by using density-functional-theory calculations. The stability of the spin state and its magnetic moments is found to continuously decrease with increasing the concentration of the defects or impurities. The system generally becomes nonmagnetic at the concentration of one edge defect (impurity) per 10Å. The spin suppression is shown to be caused by the reduction and removal of edge states at the Fermi energy. Our analysis implies an important criterion on the GNR samples for spintronics applications.


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  • Received 31 March 2008
  • Published 25 April 2008

© 2008 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

Bing Huang1, Feng Liu2,*, Jian Wu1, Bing-Lin Gu1, and Wenhui Duan1,†

  • 1Department of Physics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, People’s Republic of China
  • 2Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112, USA

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