Impact of Electron-Impurity Scattering on the Spin Relaxation Time in Graphene: A First-Principles Study

Dmitry V. Fedorov*, Martin Gradhand, Sergey Ostanin, Igor V. Maznichenko, Arthur Ernst, Jaroslav Fabian, Ingrid Mertig

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of electron-impurity scattering on momentum and spin relaxation times in graphene is studied by means of relativistic ab initio calculations. Assuming carbon and silicon adatoms as natural impurities in graphene, we are able to simulate fast spin relaxation observed experimentally. We investigate the dependence of the relaxation times on the impurity position and demonstrate that C or Si adatoms act as real-space spin hot spots inducing spin-flip rates about 5 orders of magnitude larger than those of in-plane impurities. This fact confirms the hypothesis that the adatom-induced spin-orbit coupling leads to fast spin relaxation in graphene. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.156602

Original languageEnglish
Article number156602
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2013



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