Quantum spin transport in carbon chains

Zeila Zanolli*, Giovanni Onida, J. C. Charlier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


First-principles and non-equilibrium Greens function approaches are used to predict spin-polarized electronic transport in monatomic carbon chains covalently connected to graphene nanoribbons, as recently synthetized experimentally (Jin, C.; et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 2009, 102, 205501-205504). Quantum electron conductances exhibit narrow resonant states resulting from the simultaneous presence of open conductance channels in the contact region and on the chain atoms. Odd-numbered chains, which acquire metallic or semiconducting character depending on the nature of the edge at the graphene contact, always display a net spin polarization. The combination of electrical and magnetic properties of chains and contacts results in nanodevices with intriguing spintronic properties such as the coexistence of magnetic and semiconducting behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5174-5180
Number of pages7
JournalACS Nano
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sept 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • ab initio
  • graphene nanoribbons
  • linear carbon chain
  • quantum electron transport
  • tunable electronic properties
  • tunable magnetic properties


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