Structural, electronic, and magnetic properties of single MnAs nanoclusters in GaAs

E. P. Smakman, S. Mauger, D. W. Rench, N. Samarth, P. M. Koenraad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


MnAs nanoclusters in GaAs were investigated with cross-sectional scanning tunneling microscopy. The topographic images reveal that the small clusters have the same zinc-blende crystal structure as the host material, while the larger clusters grow in a hexagonal crystal phase. The initial Mn concentration during molecular beam epitaxy growth has a strong influence on the size of the clusters that form during the annealing step. The local band structure of a single MnAs cluster is probed with scanning tunneling spectroscopy, revealing a Coulomb blockade effect that correlates with the size of the cluster. With a spin-sensitive tip, for the smaller clusters, superparamagnetic switching between two distinct states is observed at T=77 K. The larger clusters do not change their magnetic state at this temperature, i.e., they are superferromagnetic, confirming that they are responsible for the ferromagnetic behavior of this material at room-temperature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number232405
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 8 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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