The spin polarization of organic-ferromagnetic interfaces in an organic spin valve critically affects the efficiency of spin injection or detection. We examined the chemical and electronic properties of ferromagnetic Co deposited on organic Alq3 and the interfacial spin-polarized capability of the electronic states. Our x-ray photoemission spectra and calculations with density-functional theory indicate a sequential and unequal distribution of charge from Co clusters to N and then to O atoms in Alq3. The preferential orbital hybridization at specific functional sites produces efficient spin polarization of organic molecules. Element-specific measurements of x-ray magnetic circular dichroism demonstrate the preferential spin polarization in the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital state of N atoms at the complex interface for Co atop Alq3, which agrees satisfactorily with calculation. Our results indicate that an induced interfacial spin polarization on engineering the dominant reaction of Co with mainly N and O atoms in Alq3 might pave a way for effective spin filtering in organic spintronics.
|Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
|Published - 21 Jan 2015