Graphene Nanoribbons have two kinds of edges: zigzag or "armchair". Edge magnetism in zigzag graphene nanoribbons (zGNRs) has been predicted in theory but not in experiments, probably due to the instability of the edges and the usual choice of hydrogen as a terminal to the edges (which can only be stabilized at extremely low hydrogen concentrations). A better terminal is required if we want to preserve the magnetism (which is required for Spintronics application, for example).

Now researchers from Puerto Rico and China have designed new terminals based on ethylene (C2H4). They say it's the ideal material to preserve the edge magnetism. This will hopefully indeed enable Spintronics applications based on zGNRs.