A Study of the Interfacial Configuration of Alq3 and Co Bilayer in Organic Spin Valves
The interfacial electronic structure of the organic material- tris(8-hydroxyquinolinato)aluminum (Alq3) forming an interface with cobalt metal has been investigated in this research. The primary characterization method used in this research was near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) spectroscopy which probes the unoccupied molecular orbitals of a material. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations have also been employed to calculate the partial density of states (PDOS) of all constituent elements present in Alq3 molecule. The DFT calculations helped to determine the molecular orbital structure of Alq3 and to understand how the orbital structure is influenced by forming an interface with ferromagnetic Co layer. The experimental NEXAFS spectra measured in total fluorescence yield (TFY) showed that the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) and LUMO+1 states of Alq3 were not affected by the presence of Co when Co is deposited onto Alq3. On the other hand, a charge transfer between Co and Alq3 led the loss or reduction of LUMO+2 state for a Co(top)/Alq3 bilayer sample when compared to pristine Alq3 reference sample (without Co deposition). This selective effect of Co on the orbital configuration of Alq3 suggests that Co atoms diffuse into Alq3 and interact with preferred sites in Alq3. By comparing the spectral change in the experimental NEXAFS spectra to the calculated PDOS of Alq3, the preferred interaction sites between Co and Alq3 could be successfully determined. This work suggests that the spectroscopic approach using synchrotron-radiation X-ray spectroscopy can serve as a powerful means for studying the interfacial electronic structure between magnetic metals and organic semiconductors and can contribute to the research and development of high performance organic spintronics.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
DepartmentPhysics and Engineering Physics
SupervisorChang, Gap S.
CommitteeGhezelbash, Masoud; Moewes, Alex
Copyright DateMarch 2014
Organic, Spintronics, Materials, Spin valve, NEXAFS, Density Functional Theory, Ferromagnetic-Organic, Interface, FM-OSC, Co/Alq3, Alq3, molecular structure of Alq3