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Abstract

This thesis works reports on the magnetic properties of single transition metal atoms and hydrogenated compounds adsorbed on crystal surfaces. It is an experimental study, based on scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), initiated by the project of demonstrating the existence of magnetic remanence for single adsorbed atoms (adatoms). All the measurements have been performed with a scanning tunneling microscope operating at 0.4 K and equipped with 8.5 T superconducting coils. The investigated systems are cobalt atoms, pure and hydrogenated (cobalt hydrides), adsorbed on Pt(111) and graphene on Pt(111) surfaces. In the first case, we have immediately been confronted to the presence of cobalt hydrides on the surface. Three types of hydrides (CoH, CoH2, and CoH3) have been identified, quite different from the clean adatoms, and readily distinguished by their tunnel spectrum (STS). Twoofthesehydridesdisplaylow-energyvibrationalmodes(1−30meV),identifiedbytheir absence of response to a magnetic field, the effect of an isotopic substitution, and by comparison with known systems. The three hydrides can be deprotonated applying a sufficient voltage between tip and sample. CoH2 on Pt(111) presents a Kondo resonance, due to a half-integer spin (S = 3/2) and a peculiar magnetic anisotropy. This system corresponds to the first demonstration of the appearance of the Kondo effect upon hydrogen adsorption. The results of several attempts to observe remanence for single cobalt adatoms on Pt(111) with spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy (SP-STM) are also presented and discussed. The second system differs from the first one in the presence of a graphene layer on the Pt surface. The first experimental determination of the magnetic moment and magnetic anisotropy of adatoms on graphene is reported in this thesis. A magnetic moment of (2.2 ± 0.4) μB was measured by spin-excitation spectroscopy (SES), as well as a hard magnetization axis with an anisotropy energy of 8.1 ± 0.4 meV. This value, comparable to the record value of single cobalt atoms on Pt(111), has been mainly attributed to the strong hybridization between cobalt and graphene. Ab initio calculations confirmed our observations. Graphene thus represents an extremely promising substrate for future applications in nanoscale magnetism and spintronics. This system also exhibits three different cobalt hydrides in addition to the clean atoms. Their respective chemical composition, CoH, CoH2, and CoH3, was determined by direct comparison between high resolution STM images and simulated images obtained from ab initio calculated atomic structures. A controlled deprotonation method is presented. CoH3 is the only hydride to display spin excitations. Its magnetic moment is comparable to that of clean cobalt, it presents a hard magnetization axis as well, however, its magnetic anisotropy energy is sensibly lower, 1.7 ± 0.05 meV. The other two hydrides display vibrational excitations only. The effect of hydrogen on the magnetic properties of metal adatoms is therefore very strong in this system as well, and must be taken into account in future studies, hydrogen being a very common contaminant in ultra-high vacuum set-ups. Finally, a detailed study of the structure graphene mono- and bilayers on Ru(0001) was realized. Two different stackings, AB and AA, have been identified for the bilayers, the last one not observed to date for this system. The moiré structure of monolayer graphene and of this last type of bilayer has been determined: (11.57×11.57)R4.3◦ and (10.54×10.54)R4.7◦, respectively. Moreover, C-C bond distortions of more than 10%, observed in the STM images, have been studied in detail. A quantitative comparison with ab initio calculations allowed to identify their origin as the tilt of the graphene π-orbitals. These distortions are therefore purely artificial. This is an important result for future scanning tunneling microscopy studies of graphene.

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