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Effects of random atomic disorder on the magnetic stability of graphene nanoribbons with zigzag edges
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We investigate the effects of randomly distributed atomic defects on the magnetic properties of graphene nanoribbons with zigzag edges using an extended mean-field Hubbard model. For a balanced defect distribution among the sublattices of the honeycomb lattice in the bulk region of the ribbon, the ground-state antiferromagnetism of the edge states remains unaffected. By analyzing the excitation spectrum, we show that while the antiferromagnetic ground state is susceptible to single spin-flip excitations from edge states to magnetic defect states at low defect concentrations, its overall stability is enhanced with respect to the ferromagnetic phase.