Graphene reveals its magnetic personality
In a report published in Nature Physics, they used graphene, the world's thinnest and strongest material, and made it magnetic.
Graphene is a sheet of carbon atoms arranged in a chicken wire structure. In its pristine state, it exhibits no signs of the conventional magnetism usually associated with such materials as iron or nickel.
Demonstrating its remarkable properties won Manchester researchers the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010.
This latest research led by Dr Irina Grigorieva and Professor Sir Andre Geim (one of the Nobel prize recipients) could prove crucial to the future of graphene in electronics.
The Manchester researchers took nonmagnetic graphene and then either 'peppered' it with other nonmagnetic atoms like fluorine or removed some carbon atoms from the chicken wire. The empty spaces, called vacancies, and added atoms all turned out to be magnetic, exactly like atoms of, for example, iron.
"It is like minus multiplied by minus gives you plus", says Dr Irina Grigorieva.
The researchers found that, to behave as magnetic atoms, defects must be far away from each other and their concentration should be low. If many defects are added to graphene, they reside too close and cancel each other's magnetism. In the case of vacancies, their high concentration makes graphene disintegrate.
Professor Geim said: "The observed magnetism is tiny, and even the most magnetized graphene samples would not stick to your fridge.
"However, it is important to reach clarity in what is possible for graphene and what is not. The area of magnetism in nonmagnetic materials has previously had many false positives.
"The most likely use of the found phenomenon is in spintronics. Spintronics devices are pervasive, most notably they can be found in computers' hard disks. They function due to coupling of magnetism and electric current.
"Adding this new degree of functionality can prove important for potential applications of graphene in electronics", adds Dr Grigorieva.
Daniel Cochlin | EurekAlert!
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.
New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products