Influence of the Magnetic Tip on Heterodimers in Electron Spin Resonance Combined with Scanning Tunneling Microscopy

Xue Zhang, Jose Reina-Gálvez, Christoph Wolf, Yu Wang, Hervé Aubin, Andreas J. Heinrich, Taeyoung Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Investigating the quantum properties of individual spins adsorbed on surfaces by electron spin resonance combined with scanning tunneling microscopy (ESR-STM) has shown great potential for the development of quantum information technology on the atomic scale. A magnetic tip exhibiting high spin polarization is critical for performing an ESR-STM experiment. While the tip has been conventionally treated as providing a static magnetic field in ESR-STM, it was found that the tip can exhibit bistability, influencing ESR spectra. Ideally, the ESR splitting caused by the magnetic interaction between two spins on a surface should be independent of the tip. However, we found that the measured ESR splitting of a metal atom-molecule heterodimer can be tip-dependent. Detailed theoretical analysis reveals that this tip-dependent ESR splitting is caused by a different interaction energy between the tip and each spin of the heterodimer. Our work provides a comprehensive reference for characterizing tip features in ESR-STM experiments and highlights the importance of employing a proper physical model when describing the ESR tip, in particular, for heterospin systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16935-16942
Number of pages8
JournalACS Nano
Issue number17
StatePublished - 12 Sep 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 American Chemical Society.


  • electron spin resonance
  • exchange coupling
  • heterodimers
  • magnetic tip
  • scanning tunneling microscopy


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