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Controlling the magnetism and electronic transport of graphene samples at the atomic scale

18th national competition for scientific and technical research

Graphene, foundations and applications

Senior Researcher : Iván Brihuega Álvarez

Research Centre or Institution : Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.


Our project ambitions to characterize and manipulate, with atomic precision, the magnetic and electronic transport properties induced by hydrogen atoms in graphene samples.

Thanks to this project, we have built a novel microscope, based on a quantum-mechanical principle known as tunnel effect (STM), specifically designed to measure

In parallel to the construction of the new system, an STM has been used that operates at 4K to evaluate in which graphene systems and under what conditions the magnetic moment emerges after the adsorption of H atoms. It has been seen that in systems consisting of stacked graphene multilayers, the magnetic moment associated with the hydrogen atom emerges whenever the sample is electrically neutral. When the graphene layer is on a metal, the situation is different, the magnetic moment determined for the specific graphene-metal interaction may or may not exist.

It has also been detected that it is possible to use the STM to collectively manipulate a large number of hydrogen atoms with an accuracy lower than the nanometer. This makes it possible to selectively create barriers for electronic transport in graphene, thus being able to confine massless Dirac quasiparticles existing in this 2D material.

A new methodology has been developed, based on quantum interference patterns originated by H atoms in graphene to obtain, for the first time, a local measure of the Berry phase in graphene.

Finally, superconductivity has been induced in graphene through the proximity effect with islands of Pb. This has made it possible to see YSR states in grain boundaries irrefutably demonstrating the existence of magnetism in them.


Scientific Production
Magazine Articles 12
Communications at national conferences -
Communications at international conferences -


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