Researchers at the Czech Republic created magnetized carbon by treating graphene layers with non-metallic elements, said to be the first non-metal magnet to maintain its magnetic properties at room temperature. The researchers say such magnetic graphene-based materials have potential applications in the fields of spintronics, biomedicine and electronics.
By treating graphene with other non-metallic elements such as fluorine, hydrogen, and oxygen, the scientists were able to create a new source of magnetic moments that communicate with each other even at room temperature. This discovery is seen as "a huge advancement in the capabilities of organic magnets".The researchers at RCPTM also developed a theoretical model to explain how their unique chemical treatment yields magnetized graphene. "In metallic systems, magnetic phenomena result from the behavior of electrons in the atomic structure of metals". "In the organic magnets that we have developed, the magnetic features emerge from the behavior of non-metallic chemical radicals that carry free electrons", explains the team.