Beauty of science: magnetic nano-triangles


This raw scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) image reveals a periodic pattern of triangular domains (side length 9 nm) in a 2D metal-organic network of iron atoms and organic nickel-based linkers, which was prepared by evaporation on a gold surface.

  • Share

The ability to image a sample at a beamline gives users vital information about its properties before X-ray studies are carried out. After being imaged, this sample was transferred under ultra-high vacuum from the STM to the ultra-high vacuum, high-field magnet at ID08, where X-ray magnetic circular dichroism revealed that the iron atoms retain their magnetic moments. Such magnetic molecular monolayers open the possibility of tuning the magnetic properties of metallic surfaces – one of the key issues for future device technology.



This article appeared in ESRFnews, June 2011. 

To register for a free subscription and to rapidly receive the current issue, please go to:


Top image: Credit: Krüger, Hermanns, Bernien and Umbach, Institut für Experimentalphysik, Freie Universität Berlin.