Observation of a molecular muonium polaron and its application to probing magnetic and electronic states

M. Rogers, T. Prokscha, G. Teobaldi, L. Liborio, S. Sturniolo, E. Poli, D. Jochym, R. Stewart, M. Flokstra, S. Lee, M. Ali, B.J. Hickey, T. Moorsom, O. Cespedes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Muonium is a combination of first- and second-generation matter formed by the electrostatic interaction between an electron and an antimuon (μ+). Although a well-known physical system, their ability to form collective excitations in molecules had not been observed. Here, we give evidence for the detection of a muonium state that propagates in a molecular semiconductor lattice via thermally activated dynamics: a muonium polaron. By measuring the temperature dependence of the depolarization of the muonium state in C60, we observe a thermal narrowing of the hyperfine distribution that we attribute to the dynamics of the muonium between molecular sites. As a result of the time scale for muonium decay, the energies involved, charge and spin selectivity, this quasiparticle is a widely applicable experimental tool. It is an excellent probe of emerging electronic, dynamic, and magnetic states at interfaces and in low dimensional systems, where direct spatial probing is an experimental challenge owing to the buried interface, nanoscale elements providing the functionality localization and small magnitude of the effects.
Original languageEnglish
Article number064429
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Review. B, Condensed matter and materials physics
Issue number6
Early online date17 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


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