Spin–orbit coupling prevents spin channel suppression of transition metal atoms on armchair graphene nanoribbons†
We investigate the spin-dependent electronic and transport properties of armchair graphene nanoribbons including spin–orbit coupling due to the presence of nickel and iridium adatoms by using ab initio calculations within the spin-polarized density functional theory and non-equilibrium Green's function formalism. Our results indicate that the intensity of the spin–flip precession is a direct consequence of the relaxed adsorption sites of the adatoms. We point out that d orbitals of Ni and Ir result in strong dependence on the spin-conserved and spin–flip transmission probabilities. In particular, we show that the presence of spin–orbit coupling can lead to an enhancement of the transmission probabilities especially around resonances arising due to weak coupling with specific orbitals.