When several layers of phthalocyanine molecules are deposited on a metallic surface of cobalt, the robust magnetism of cobalt can stabilize and control that of the molecules at room temperature. This established magnetic molecular ordering, which heralds a new technique to transport electron spins, can in turn control the metal’s ferromagnetism at low temperature. This effect, called exchange bias and widely used in spintronic devices, paves the way for an all-organic approach to spintronics.
Spin electronics aims to encode and process information thanks to the orientation of the elemental magnet, or spin, of the electron. Organic electronics aims to develop cheap, flexible components. Organic spintronics thus benefits from the synergies resulting from the mariage of these two research fields. Thus, researchers from the l’Institut de Physique et Chimie des Matériaux de Strasbourg (IPCMS1) showed in 2013 that the magnetism at the interface between a ferromagnetic metal such as cobalt and phthalocyanine molecules can solve the sizeable challenge in spintronics of strongly polarizing a current of electrons at room temperature (see our news xxx 2013 and 2015).