Supramolecular control of the magnetic anisotropy in two-dimensional high-spin Fe arrays at a metal interface
Magnetic atoms at surfaces are a rich model system for solid-state magnetic bits exhibiting either classical(1,2) or quantum(3,4) behaviour. Individual atoms, however, are difficult to arrange in regular patterns(1-5). Moreover, their magnetic properties are dominated by interaction with the substrate, which, as in the case of Kondo systems, often leads to a decrease or quench of their local magnetic moment(6,7). Here, we show that the supramolecular assembly of Fe and 1,4-benzenedicarboxylic acid molecules on a Cu surface results in ordered arrays of high-spin mononuclear Fe centres on a 1.5nm square grid. Lateral coordination with the molecular ligands yields unsaturated yet stable coordination bonds, which enable chemical modification of the electronic and magnetic properties of the Fe atoms independently from the substrate. The easy magnetization direction of the Fe centres can be switched by oxygen adsorption, thus opening a way to control the magnetic anisotropy in supramolecular layers akin to that used in metallic thin films(8-11).