Large effect of metal substrate on magnetic anisotropy of Co on hexagonal boron nitride

Iker Gallardo, Andres Arnau, Fernando Delgado, Romana Baltic, Aparajita Singha, Fabio Donati, Christian Wäckerlin, Jan Dreiser, Stefano Rusponi, Harald Brune

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We combine x-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), x-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD) and x-ray magnetic linear dichroism (XMLD) data with first principles density functional theory (DFT) calculations and a multiorbital many-body Hamiltonian approach to understand the electronic and magnetic properties of Co atoms adsorbed on h-BN/Ru(0001) and h-BN/Ir(111). The XAS line shape reveals, for both substrates, an electronic configuration close to 3d 8, corresponding to a spin S = 1. Magnetic field dependent XMCD data show large (14 meV) out-of-plane anisotropy on h-BN/Ru(0001), while it is almost isotropic (tens of μeV) on h-BN/Ir(111). XMLD data together with both DFT calculations and the results of the multiorbital Hubbard model suggest that the dissimilar magnetic anisotropy originates from different Co adsorption sites, namely atop N on h-BN/Ru(0001) and 6-fold hollow on h-BN/Ir(111).

Original languageEnglish
Article number073053
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - 29 Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd on behalf of the Institute of Physics and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.


  • Density functional theory
  • Magnetic anisotropic energy
  • Multiplet calculations
  • X-ray absorption


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