Spintronics may benefit from artificial magnetic texture produced from grapheme

Apr, 2021 - By SMI

Spintronics may benefit from artificial magnetic texture produced from grapheme

Researchers from the University at Buffalo have developed an "artificial magnetic texture" in a material that might have significant consequences for the developing field of spintronics.

Graphene is a carbon atom lattice that forms a one-atom-thick layer. This means the electrons travelling through the substance can only move in two dimensions, resulting in certain unusual electrical properties. It is a strong heat conductor which can be turned into a semiconductor or superconductor. The researchers then used eight electrodes to test how the conductivity of the graphene varied in response to the magnet. However, the graphene exhibited an artificial magnetic texture, giving it magnetic fields comparable to metals such as cobalt or iron. This effect can be seen as much as a few microns apart from the magnet that might not seem like a long distance and is instead a trek on a microscopic scale.

Magnetism is not something that can be assumed of this overachieving "wonder" stuff. However, researchers of the recent studies have now included it as well. A 20-nanometer-thick magnet was mounted on top of a layer of graphene by the researchers. While it seems to be thin, it would be over 20 times thicker than graphene.

The researchers suggest that further research is required to figure out how this magnetism forms in graphene. This is most definitely the product of spin polarization, spin-orbit pairing, or both, they claim. These phenomena are analogous to particle "spin" and are often attributed to a material's magnetism. If that is the case, magnetic graphene may be a game-changer for the new field of "spintronics," which uses the spin property to store data more densely with existing electronic devices.

“Graphene and spintronics, both in and of themselves, have the ability to radically modify certain areas of industry and culture. “However, if you can mix the two, the synergistic results are likely to be unprecedented,” states lead researcher Nargess Arabchigavkani.

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