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Spin selectivity in photoemission from ferromagnetic substrates functionalized with chiral organic films was analyzed by ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy at room temperature. Using radiation with photon energy greater than the ionization potential of the adsorbed molecules, photoelectrons were collected that originated from both underlying ferromagnetic substrates and the organic films, with kinetic energies in the range of ca. 0-18 eV. We investigated chiral organic films composed of self-assembled monolayers of α helical peptides and electrostatically adsorbed films of the protein, bovine serum albumin, with different α helix and β-sheet content. Ultraviolet photoelectron spectral widths were found to depend on substrate magnetization orientation and polarization, which we attribute to helicity-dependent molecular ionization cross sections by photoelectron impact, possibly resulting in spin-polarized holes. These interactions between spin-polarized photoelectrons and chiral molecules are physically manifested as differences in the measured photoionization energies of the chiral molecular films. Substrate magnetization-dependent ionization energies and work function values were deconvoluted using surface charge neutralization techniques, permitting the measurement of relative spin-dependent energy barriers to transmission through chiral organic films.
PMID: 30734553 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]