Spintronics is one of the most exciting applications of graphene-based devices. In this work Density Functional Theory is used to study a nanojunction consisting of two semi-infinite graphene electrodes contacted with an iron-porphyrin (FeP) molecule, which plays the role of spin filter for the incoming unpolarized electrons. The graphene-FeP contact closely resembles the recently synthesized porphyrin-decorated graphene [He et al., Nat. Chem. 2017
, 33–38]. The analysis of the spectral properties of the system shows a variation of the orbital occupancy with respect to the isolated FeP molecule and an hybridization with the delocalized states of the substrate, while the overall magnetic moment remains unchanged. Doping the electrodes with boron or nitrogen atoms induces a relevant rearrangement in the electronic structure of the junction. Upon B doping the current becomes significantly spin polarized, while N doping induces a marked Negative Differential Resistivity effect. We have also investigated the possible exploitation of the FeP junction as a gas sensor device. We demonstrate that the interaction of CO and O2
molecules with the Fe atom, while being strong enough to be stable at room temperature (2.0 eV and 1.1 eV, respectively), induces only minor effects on the electronic properties of the junction. Interestingly, a quenching of the spin polarization of the current is observed in the B-doped system.
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