Spin and orbital magnetic moments of size-selected iron, cobalt, and nickel clusters

A. Langenberg, K. Hirsch, A. Ławicki, V. Zamudio-Bayer, M. Niemeyer, P. Chmiela, B. Langbehn, A. Terasaki, B. V. Issendorff, J. T. Lau

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71 Citations (Scopus)


Spin and orbital magnetic moments of cationic iron, cobalt, and nickel clusters have been determined from x-ray magnetic circular dichroism spectroscopy. In the size regime of n=10-15 atoms, iron and cobalt clusters show fully spin-polarized unoccupied 3d states with maximized spin magnetic moments of 1μB per hole because of completely filled 3d majority-spin bands. The notable exception is Fe13+ where an unusually low average spin magnetic moment of 0.73±0.12 μB per unoccupied 3d state is detected, an effect which is neither observed for Co13+ nor Ni13+. This distinct behavior can be linked to the existence and accessibility of antiferromagnetic, paramagnetic, or nonmagnetic phases in the respective bulk phase diagrams of iron, cobalt, and nickel. Compared to the experimental data, available density functional theory calculations generally seem to underestimate the spin magnetic moments significantly. In all clusters investigated, the orbital magnetic moment is quenched to 5%-25% of the atomic value by the reduced symmetry of the crystal field. The magnetic anisotropy energy in this size range is well below 65μeV per atom.

Original languageEnglish
Article number184420
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - Nov 19 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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