Spintronics is a growing field that scientists say will eventually rewrite the rules
In a study published today in the journalPhysical Review Letters, the researchers describe how they coupled a magnet with graphene and created what they describe as an "artificial magnetic texture" in a non-magnetic material.
“Independently of each other, graphene and spintronicshave incredible potential to fundamentally change many aspects of business and society. But if you can combine them together, the synergistic effects will surprise the world, ”said lead author of the study, female Ph.D. Nargess Arabchigavkani, who conducted the study.
Also in the international group of scientists underThe University of Buffalo's leadership includes specialists from King Mongkut's Lad Krabang Institute of Technology in Thailand, Chiba Universities in Japan, Science and Technology in China, Nebraska in Omaha, Nebraska Lincoln and Uppsala in Sweden.
For their experiments, the researchers placeda magnet with a thickness of 20 nm (nanometers) in direct contact with the graphene sheet. It was a layer of carbon atoms arranged in a two-dimensional honeycomb lattice less than 1 nm thick.
“To get a feel for the difference in size, compare laying bricks to a sheet of paper,” explains senior study author Jonathan Bird.
The researchers then placed eight electrodes at different points around the graphene and magnet to measure their conductivity.
The electrodes surprised scientists - the magnets were called intographene artificial magnetic texture. It persisted even in areas of graphene far from the magnet. Simply put, the close contact between two objects caused the normally non-magnetic carbon to behave differently. It has shown properties similar to those of common magnetic materials - iron or cobalt.
The results obtained raise important questions regarding the microscopic origin of the magnetic texture in graphene.
The most important, according to scientists, is the degree,in which the induced magnetic behavior arises from the influence of spin polarization and / or spin-orbit coupling. They are known to be closely related to the magnetic properties of materials and to the emerging spintronic technology.
Instead of using electriccharge carried by electrons (as in traditional electronics), spintronic devices seek to exploit a unique quantum property of electrons known as spin (which is analogous to the rotation of the earth around its own axis). Spin makes it possible to pack more data into smaller devices. This increases the power of semiconductors, quantum computers, storage devices, and other digital electronics.
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