Magnetic Hysteresis in Er Trimers on Cu(111)

Aparajita Singha, Fabio Donati, Christian Wäckerlin, Romana Baltic, Jan Dreiser, Marina Pivetta, Stefano Rusponi, Harald Brune

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


We report magnetic hysteresis in Er clusters on Cu(111) starting from the size of three atoms. Combining X-ray magnetic circular dichroism, scanning tunneling microscopy, and mean-field nucleation theory, we determine the size-dependent magnetic properties of the Er clusters. Er atoms and dimers are paramagnetic, and their easy magnetization axes are oriented in-plane. In contrast, trimers and bigger clusters exhibit magnetic hysteresis at 2.5 K with a relaxation time of 2 min at 0.1 T and out-of-plane easy axis. This appearance of magnetic stability for trimers coincides with their enhanced structural stability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3475-3481
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - 8 Jun 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.


  • Rare earth clusters
  • X-ray magnetic circular dichroism
  • hysteresis
  • magnetic anisotropy
  • scanning tunneling microscopy
  • superlattice


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