We investigate the spin-dependent electronic and transport properties of armchair graphene nanoribbons including spin-orbit coupling due to the presence of nickel and iridium adatoms by using ab initio calculations within the spin-polarized density functional theory and non-equilibrium Green's function formalism. Our results indicate that the intensity of the spin-flip precession is a direct consequence of the relaxed adsorption sites of the adatoms. We point out that d orbitals of Ni and Ir result in strong dependence on the spin-conserved and spin-flip transmission probabilities. In particular, we show that the presence of spin-orbit coupling can lead to an enhancement of the transmission probabilities especially around resonances arising due to weak coupling with specific orbitals.
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