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.
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© 2023 American Chemical Society.
- electron spin resonance
- exchange coupling
- magnetic tip
- scanning tunneling microscopy