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Physical review letters

Chiral-selective chemistry induced by spin-polarized secondary electrons from a magnetic substrate.


PMID 18999792

Abstract

We demonstrate for the first time that low-energy spin-polarized secondary electrons, produced by irradiation of a magnetic substrate, can induce chiral-selective chemistry. Our approach was to perform detailed measurements of the reaction rate for x-ray induced, secondary electron photolysis of a model chiral compound, (R)- or (S)-2-butanol, adsorbed on a magnetized Permalloy substrate. The results showed that there is an enhancement of approximately 10% in the rate of CO bond cleavage that depends on the chirality of the molecule and the spin polarization of the substrate secondary electrons.