Graphene takes on the properties of gold and cobalt to benefit spintronics and quantum computers

Scientists from St. Petersburg University and Tomsk University in Russia, along with teams at the Max Planck Institute in Germany and University of the Basque Country, Spain, have modified graphene in such a way that it has taken the properties of cobalt and gold: magnetism and spin–orbit interaction. This advance can greatly benefit quantum computers.

Graphene with the properties of cobalt and gold image

The graphene was (for the first time, according to the researchers) modified to adopt such fundamental properties as magnetism and spin-orbit interaction. “The spin of an electron is a “magnet” induced by the spin of the electron around its axis. It also orbits the nucleus to produce electric current and therefore a magnetic field. The interaction between the “magnet” and magnetic field is a spin-orbit interaction. Unlike in gold, the spin-orbit interaction in graphene is extremely small. The interaction between graphene and gold increase spin-orbit interaction in graphene, while interaction between graphene and cobalt induces magnetism”, the team explained.

Researchers discover a magnetic 2D material

Researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory discovered the world's first magnetic 2D material - chromium germanium telluride (CGT). It was debatable whether magnetism could survive in such thin materials - and this discovery could pave the way to extremely thin spintronics devices.

Detecting electron spin in CGT, Berkeley

The CGT flakes were produced using the scotch-tape method - the same one used to produce graphene for the first time in Manchester in 2004.

Graphene enables non-metal magnet

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".

Tri-layer graphene supports a new type of magnet

A study at TIFR (Tata Institute of Fundamental Research) designed a system that allows electronic interactions to be observed in three layers of graphene. The study reveals a new kind of magnet and provides insight on how electronic devices using graphene could be made for fundamental studies as well as applications, shedding light on the magnetism of electrons in three layers of graphene at a low temperature of -272 Celsius that arises from the coordinated "whispers" between many electrons.

Metals have a large density of electrons, so being able to see the wave nature of electrons requires making metallic wires a few atoms wide. However, in graphene the density of electrons is much smaller and can be changed by making a transistor. As a result, the wave nature of electrons is easier to observe in graphene.

Saint Jean Carbon and Western University receive NSERC Grant

Saint Jean Carbon, a carbon science company engaged in the design and development of carbon materials and their applications, recently received (along with Western University) a grant from the The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) towards the development of graphene-based systems with special magnetic properties.

The $100,000 grant will be used to cover the cost of the lab work, testing, material creation and all research associated costs. The company stated that it aims to use the funds to get beyond the lab and into working prototypes, scaled models and future commercial production. In addition, SJC hopes that "the results will play a big role in the medical field as well in energy storage for electric cars and green energy creation".

Versarien - Think you know graphene? Think again! Versarien - Think you know graphene? Think again!