Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Rensselaer researchers create tiny magnetic diamonds on the nanoscale

13.09.2005


Diamonds have always been alluring, but now a team of scientists has made them truly magnetic -- on the nanoscale.



In a paper published in the Aug. 26 issue of Physical Review Letters, the researchers report a technique to make magnetic diamond particles only 4-5 nanometers across. The tiny diamond magnets could find use in fields ranging from medicine to information technology.

Ferromagnetism has been historically reserved for metals, but scientists are becoming increasingly interested in the prospect of creating metal-free magnets, particularly from carbon-based materials. Diamond is a naturally occurring crystalline form of carbon.


Magnets made from carbon could have a number of advantages over their metal counterparts. "Carbon is lightweight, very stable, simple to process, and less expensive to produce," says Saikat Talapatra, a post-doctoral research associate with the Rensselaer Nanotechnology Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Talapatra is lead author of the study, which also included researchers from NASA Ames Research Center in California; Richmond, Va.-based Philip Morris USA; and the University at Albany.

"These findings could lead to a systematic, controllable method for producing magnetic carbon materials," says Pulickel Ajayan, the Henry Burlage Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Rensselaer and co-author of the paper. "Though the value of the magnetization is much lower than in regular magnets, the nature of the spin interactions in carbon could lead to a number of potential applications."

Magnetic nanocarbons could make promising structures for high-density memory devices and in quantum computers. And because carbon materials are generally compatible with living tissue, these nanostructures could be useful in medical applications such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and the targeted delivery of drugs to specific parts of the body.

Researchers have long known that defects and irregularities in pure carbon materials can give rise to electrons that are not paired with other electrons. Each "unpaired" electron produces a magnetic field by its spinning, and when all of the spins align, the material itself becomes magnetic. Talapatra and his colleagues have developed a way to modify the structure of carbon in a controlled manner by firing clusters of atoms at the diamond particles. This produces magnetism at room temperature, and the total strength of the magnetism depends on the amount and type of atoms used.

The next step, according to Talapatra, is to calculate how the types of defects and their concentration in the pure carbon structure affect the magnitude of magnetism. "We are also working toward developing simpler ways to make magnetic nanocarbons in a more controlled fashion," he says. "The long-term goal is to show some real applications using these structures."

Other Rensselaer researchers involved in the work were Robert Vajtai, laboratory manager for the Rensselaer Nanotechnology Center; Ganapathiraman Ramanath, associate professor of materials science and engineering; Mutsuhiro Shima, assistant professor of materials science and engineering; Gopal Ganesan Pethuraja, research engineer with the Center for Integrated Electronics; and Taegyun Kim, graduate student in materials science and engineering.

Jason Gorss | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.rpi.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect
24.05.2017 | Vienna University of Technology

nachricht Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect
24.05.2017 | University of Cologne

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>