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We report on the demonstration of ferromagnetic spin injectors for spintronics which are protected against oxidation through passivation by a single layer of graphene. The graphene monolayer is directly grown by catalytic chemical vapor deposition on pre-patterned nickel electrodes. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy reveals that even with its monoatomic thickness, monolayer graphene still efficiently protects spin sources against oxidation in ambient air. The resulting single layer passivated electrodes are integrated into spin valves and demonstrated to act as spin polarizers. Strikingly, the atom-thick graphene layer is shown to be sufficient to induce a characteristic spin filtering effect evidenced through the sign reversal of the measured magnetoresistance.


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