Spatial Variation of a Giant Spin-orbit Effect Induces Electron Confinement in Graphene on Pb Islands

Article: published in Nature Physics by Amadeo L. Vazquez de Parga and Rodolfo Miranda, IFIMAC researchers.

Introducing a giant spin-orbit interaction on graphene/Ir(111) by intercalation of Pb. The intercalation of an ordered array of Pb atoms below graphene results in the appearance a series of equally spaced, sharp peaks in the differential conductance, as revealed by laterally resolved Tunnelling Spectroscopy at 4.6 K. The vicinity of Pb enhances the, usually negligible, spin-orbit interaction of graphene. The spatial variation of the spin-orbit coupling when going from graphene intercalated with Pb to graphene directly deposited on Ir(111) creates a pseudo-magnetic field that originates pseudo-Landau levels. [Full article]

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