The discovery of room-temperature ferromagnetism of hydrogenated epitaxial graphene on silicon carbide challenges for a fundamental understanding of this long-range phenomenon. Carbon allotropes with their dispersive electron states at the Fermi level and a small spin-orbit coupling are not an obvious candidate for ferromagnetism. Here we show that the origin of ferromagnetism in hydrogenated epitaxial graphene with a relatively high Curie temperature (>300 K) lies in the formation of curved specific carbon site regions in the graphene layer, induced by the underlying Si-dangling bonds and by the hydrogen bonding. Hydrogen adsorption is therefore more favourable at only one sublattice site, resulting in a localized state at the Fermi energy that can be attributed to a pseudo-Landau level splitting. This n = 0 level forms a spin-polarized narrow band at the Fermi energy leading to a high Curie temperature and larger magnetic moment can be achieved due to the presence of Si dangling bonds underneath the hydrogenated graphene layer.
- Electronic structure
- Hydrogenated epitaxial graphene