The nature of the Fe–graphene interface at the nanometer level†
The emerging fields of graphene-based magnetic and spintronic devices require a deep understanding of the interface between graphene and ferromagnetic metals. This paper reports a detailed investigation at the nanometer level of the Fe–graphene interface carried out by angle-resolved photoemission, high-resolution photoemission from core levels, near edge X-ray absorption fine structure, scanning tunnelling microscopy and spin polarized density functional theory calculations. Quasi-free-standing graphene was grown on Pt(111), and the iron film was either deposited atop or intercalated beneath graphene. Calculations and experimental results show that iron strongly modifies the graphene band structure and lifts its π band spin degeneracy.