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Low-Resistance Molecular Wires Propagate Spin-Polarized Currents

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posted on 07.10.2019, 19:16 by George Bullard, Francesco Tassinari, Chih-Hung Ko, Amit Kumar Mondal, Ruobing Wang, Suryakant Mishra, Ron Naaman, Michael J. Therien
Spin based properties, applications, and devices are typically related to inorganic ferromagnetic materials. The development of organic materials for spintronic applications has long been encumbered by its reliance on ferromagnetic electrodes for polarized spin injection. The discovery of the chirality-induced spin selectivity (CISS) effect, in which chiral organic molecules serve as spin filters, defines a marked departure from this paradigm because it exploits soft materials, operates at ambient temperature, and eliminates the need for a magnetic electrode. To date, the CISS effect has been explored exclusively in molecular insulators. Here we combine chiral molecules, which serve as spin filters, with molecular wires that despite not being chiral, function to preserve spin polarization. Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of right-handed helical (l-proline)8 (Pro8) and corresponding peptides, N-terminal conjugated to (porphinato)zinc or meso-to-meso ethyne-bridged (porphinato)­zinc structures (Pro8PZnn), were interrogated via magnetic conducting atomic force microscopy (mC-AFM), spin-dependent electrochemistry, and spin Hall devices that measure the spin polarizability that accompanies the charge polarization. These data show that chiral molecules are not required to transmit spin-polarized currents made possible by the CISS mechanism. Measured Hall voltages for Pro8PZn1–3 substantially exceed that determined for the Pro8 control and increase dramatically as the conjugation length of the achiral PZnn component increases; mC-AFM data underscore that measured spin selectivities increase with an increasing Pro8PZn1–3 N-terminal conjugation. Because of these effects, spin-dependent electrochemical data demonstrate that spin-polarized currents, which trace their genesis to the chiral Pro8 moiety, propagate with no apparent dephasing over the augmented Pro8PZnn length scales, showing that spin currents may be transmitted over molecular distances that greatly exceed the length of the chiral moiety that makes possible the CISS effect.