Reversible spin storage in metal oxide—fullerene heterojunctions

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Science Advances  20 Mar 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 12, eaax1085
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aax1085


We show that hybrid MnOx/C60 heterojunctions can be used to design a storage device for spin-polarized charge: a spin capacitor. Hybridization at the carbon-metal oxide interface leads to spin-polarized charge trapping after an applied voltage or photocurrent. Strong electronic structure changes, including a 1-eV energy shift and spin polarization in the C60 lowest unoccupied molecular orbital, are then revealed by x-ray absorption spectroscopy, in agreement with density functional theory simulations. Muon spin spectroscopy measurements give further independent evidence of local spin ordering and magnetic moments optically/electronically stored at the heterojunctions. These spin-polarized states dissipate when shorting the electrodes. The spin storage decay time is controlled by magnetic ordering at the interface, leading to coherence times of seconds to hours even at room temperature.

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