The coupling mechanism of magnetic molecules to ferromagnetic surfaces is of scientific interest to design and tune molecular spintronic interfaces utilizing their molecular and surface architecture. Indirect magnetic coupling has been proposed earlier on the basis of density functional theory +U (DFT+U) calculations, for the magnetic coupling of manganese(II) porphyrin (MnP) molecules to thin Co films. Here we provide an experimental X-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD) spectroscopy and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) study of manganese(III) tetraphenylporphyrin chloride (MnTPPCl) on rough (exhibiting a high density of monatomic steps) and smooth (exhibiting a low density of monatomic steps) thin Co films grown on a Cu(001) single crystal toward the assessment of the magnetic coupling mechanism. After deposition onto the surface, MnTPPCl molecules were found to couple ferromagnetically to both rough and smooth Co substrates. For high molecular coverage, we observed higher XMCD signals at the Mn L-edges on the smooth Co substrate than on the rough Co substrate, as expected for the proposed indirect magnetic coupling mechanism on the basis of its predominance on the flat surface areas. In particular, DFT+U calculations predict a weak ferromagnetic molecule−substrate coupling only if the chloride ion of the MnTPPCl molecule orients away (Co−Mn−Cl) from the Co surface.
We are working at the Institute of Nano Science and Technology Mohali, one of the leading research institutes in India in the field of Nano Science. INST is located in Chandigarh, one of the major cities of India.