AFM-Based Spin-Exchange Microscopy Using Chiral Molecules

Amir Ziv, Abhijit Saha, Hen Alpern, Nir Sukenik, Lech Tomasz Baczewski, Shira Yochelis, Meital Reches*, Yossi Paltiel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Local magnetic imaging at nanoscale resolution is desirable for basic studies of magnetic materials and for magnetic logic and memories. However, such local imaging is hard to achieve by means of standard magnetic force microscopy. Other techniques require low temperatures, high vacuum, or strict limitations on the sample conditions. A simple and robust method is presented for locally resolved magnetic imaging based on short-range spin-exchange interactions that can be scaled down to atomic resolution. The presented method requires a conventional AFM tip functionalized with a chiral molecule. In proximity to the measured magnetic sample, charge redistribution in the chiral molecule leads to a transient spin state, caused by the chiral-induced spin-selectivity effect, followed by the exchange interaction with the imaged sample. While magnetic force microscopy imaging strongly depends on a large working distance, an accurate image is achieved using the molecular tip in proximity to the sample. The chiral molecules' spin-exchange interaction is found to be 150 meV. Using the tip with the adsorbed chiral molecules, two oppositely magnetized samples are characterized, and a magnetic imaging is performed. This method is simple to perform at room temperature and does not require high-vacuum conditions.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number1904206
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number40
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • atomic force microscopy
  • chiral molecules
  • magnetic imaging
  • spin exchange


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