Scientists at the University of Manchester have found a way to make wonder material graphene magnetic, opening up a new range of opportunities for the world's thinnest material in the area of spintronics.
|The image shows a flow of electrons (green arrows) which magnetises graphene in the opposite directions to the left and to the right from the current flow.|
A team led by Professor Andre Geim, a recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize for graphene, can now show that electric current - a flow of electrons - can magnetise graphene.
The results, reported in Science, could be a potentially huge breakthrough in the field of spintronics.
Spintronics is a group of emerging technologies that exploit the intrinsic spin of the electron, in addition to its fundamental electric charge that is exploited in microelectronics.
Billions of spintronics devices such as sensors and memories are already being produced. Every hard disk drive has a magnetic sensor that uses a flow of spins, and magnetic random access memory (MRAM) chips are becoming increasingly popular.
The findings are part of a large international effort involving research groups from the US, Russia, Japan and the Netherlands.