Spin-dependent charge transfer at chiral electrodes probed by magnetic resonance†
Chirality-induced spin selectivity is evidenced by exciting the spin resonance of radicals in an electrochemical cell where the working electrode is covered with a chiral self-assembled monolayer. Because the electron transfer to and from the paramagnetic radical is spin dependent, the electrochemical current changes at resonance. This electrically-detected magnetic resonance (EDMR) is monitored by a lock-in detection based on electrode voltage modulation, at a frequency that optimizes the sensitivity of the differential conductance to the electrode charge transfer process. The method is validated using p-doped GaAs electrodes in which the conduction band electrons are hyperpolarized by a well-known method of optical spin pumping with circularly polarized light. Gold electrodes covered with peptides consisting of 5 alanine groups (Al5) present a relative current change of up to 5 × 10−5 when the resonance condition is met, corresponding to a spin filtering efficiency between 6 and 19%.