Robust spin polarization and spin textures on stepped Au(111) surfaces.

Centre d'Investigaciò en Nanociència i Nanotecnologia, CIN2 (CSIC-ICN), Esfera UAB, Campus de Bellaterra, 08193-Barcelona, Spain.
Physical Review Letters (Impact Factor: 7.73). 05/2010; 104(18):187602. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.187602
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The influence of structural defects, in the form of step lattices, on the spin polarization of the spin-orbit split Shockley surface state of Au(111) has been investigated. Spin- and angle-resolved photoemission data from three vicinal surfaces with different step densities are presented. The spin splitting is preserved in all three cases, and there is no reduction of the spin polarization of individual subbands, including the umklapp bands induced by the step lattice. On the sample with the highest step density studied, where the wave functions are delocalized over several terraces, the spin splitting is enhanced substantially, likely as an effect of the effective surface corrugation as on related surface alloys. The spin texture shows in all cases spin polarization vectors tangential to the Fermi circles, with the same helicities as on Au(111).

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