Researchers from Spain have succeeded in giving graphene magnetic properties - they have basically managed to create a hybrid graphene surface that behaves like a magnet. This may enable graphene-based Spintronic devices.

A magnetic material is a material in which most electrons have the same spin. In order to achieve that, the researchers grew a graphene sheet on a ruthernium single crystal substrate. Then they evaporated TCNQ (tetracyano-p-quinodimethane, which acts as a semiconductor at very low temperatures) molecules on the graphene surface. The TCNQ molecule acquired long-range magnetic order.

While the graphene itself does not interact with the TCNQ molecules, it permits a highly efficient charge transfer between the substrate (the ruthernium crystal) and the TCNQ.