Document Type


Original Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Journal of Chemical Physics





DOI of Original Publication



Originally published at

Date of Submission

October 2015


It is shown that the magnetic moments of Sc atoms can be significantly enhanced by combining them with alkali atoms. We present results of first principles electronic structure calculations of ScNan (1≤n≤12) clusters that indicate that a ScNa12 cluster consisting of a Sc atom surrounded by 12 Na atoms forming a compact icosahedral structure has a spin magnetic moment of 3μB that is three times that of an isolated Sc atom. This unusual behavior is analyzed in terms of the filling of the supershells 1S, 1P,… controlled by the nature and size of the alkali atoms and the more localized Sc 3d orbitals that hybridize weakly with Na sp orbitals. It is shown that even larger magnetic moments could be attained by controlling the relative position of 1S, 1P, and 3d states. Indeed, our studies indicate large magnetic moment five times that of an isolated Sc atom in the ScK12 and ScCs12 clusters, in which the 3d orbitals of Sc adopt a half-filled configuration, while the clusters are stabilized by filled 1S2, 1P6, and 2S2 shells, the features making them as new magnetic superatoms.


Pradhan, K., Reveles, J. U., Sen, P., et al. Enhanced magnetic moments of alkali metal coated Sc clusters: New magnetic superatoms. The Journal of Chemical Physics 132, 124302 (2010). Copyright © 2010 AIP Publishing LLC.

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