Electron paramagnetic resonance of individual atoms on a surface
We combined the high-energy resolution of conventional spin resonance (here ∼10 nano-electron volts) with scanning tunneling microscopy to measure electron paramagnetic resonance of individual iron (Fe) atoms placed on a magnesium oxide film. We drove the spin resonance with an oscillating electric field (20 to 30 gigahertz) between tip and sample. The readout of the Fe atom's quantum state was performed by spin-polarized detection of the atomic-scale tunneling magnetoresistance. We determine an energy relaxation time of T1 ≈ 100 microseconds and a phase-coherence time of T2 ≈ 210 nanoseconds. The spin resonance signals of different Fe atoms differ by much more than their resonance linewidth; in a traditional ensemble measurement, this difference would appear as inhomogeneous broadening.