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Title: Tuning spin transport properties and molecular magnetoresistance through contact geometry

Molecular spintronics seeks to unite the advantages of using organic molecules as nanoelectronic components, with the benefits of using spin as an additional degree of freedom. For technological applications, an important quantity is the molecular magnetoresistance. In this work, we show that this parameter is very sensitive to the contact geometry. To demonstrate this, we perform ab initio calculations, combining the non-equilibrium Green's function method with density functional theory, on a dithienylethene molecule placed between spin-polarized nickel leads of varying geometries. We find that, in general, the magnetoresistance is significantly higher when the contact is made to sharp tips than to flat surfaces. Interestingly, this holds true for both resonant and tunneling conduction regimes, i.e., when the molecule is in its “closed” and “open” conformations, respectively. We find that changing the lead geometry can increase the magnetoresistance by up to a factor of ∼5. We also introduce a simple model that, despite requiring minimal computational time, can recapture our ab initio results for the behavior of magnetoresistance as a function of bias voltage. This model requires as its input only the density of states on the anchoring atoms, at zero bias voltage. We also find that the non-resonant conductance inmore » the open conformation of the molecule is significantly impacted by the lead geometry. As a result, the ratio of the current in the closed and open conformations can also be tuned by varying the geometry of the leads, and increased by ∼400%.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5]
  1. Theoretical Sciences Unit, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore 560064 (India)
  2. (India)
  3. Department of Materials and Nanophysics, School of Information and Communication Technology, Electrum 229, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), SE-16440 Kista (Sweden)
  4. (Sweden)
  5. (Swedish e-Science Research Center), KTH, SE-10044 Stockholm (Sweden)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22255187
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 140; Journal Issue: 4; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; DEGREES OF FREEDOM; DENSITY; DENSITY FUNCTIONAL METHOD; ELECTRIC POTENTIAL; GREEN FUNCTION; MAGNETORESISTANCE; MOLECULES; SPIN ORIENTATION; TUNNEL EFFECT