Program Highlights

Magnetic Doping of Golden-Cage Clusters

X.C. Zeng, J. Bai
Nebraska MRSEC

L.M. Wang, L.S. Wang, W. Huang
Washington State University/PNNL

D. Schooss, M. Kappes
Karlsruhe, Germany

Understanding local magnetic properties of dilute magnetic impurities in nonmagnetic hosts is of both fundamental and practical importance. Atomic metal clusters provide a unique medium for exploring local magnetism, as the cluster size, the number of valence electrons, and the local structures can be readily controlled and varied. In particular, a single magnetic atom trapped in a metallic cage (i.e., core/shell cluster) can be an ideal molecular model for dilute magnetic alloys. We have found the golden-cage Au16 cluster, which has a sufficiently large internal volume to encapsulate a foreign atom. We showed that the most stable structure of bimetallic MAu16 (M = Fe, Co, Ni) clusters is the core/shell MAu16 structure, but with considerable distortions to the parent Au16 shell. Fe@Au16 and Co@Au16 are found to have similar structures with C2 symmetry, while a C1 structure is found for Au16Ni. The 4s electrons are observed to transfer to the Au16 cage, whereas atomic-like magnetism due to the unpaired 3d electrons is retained for all the doped clusters. Fe@Au16 and Co@Au16 have high spins (5µB and 4µB), while Ni@Au16 has a lower spin (1µB), consistent with the stronger Ni-cage interactions [Phys. Rev. B 79, 033413 (2009)].

This research is supported by the National Science Foundation, Division of Materials Research, Materials Research Sciences and Engineering Program, Grant 0820521.


Magnetic Doping of Golden-Cage Clusters

Fe, Co, and Ni atom in the gold-cage Au16


Highlight Info

Date: March 2009
Research Area:
IRG1: Nanoscale Magnetism: Structures, Materials and Phenomena