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Graphene's Magnetic Properties Can Now Be Controlled

In the Science World Report:

"In a breakthrough for possible futuristic atom-scale spintronic transistors, wonder material graphene can actually be made magnetic and importantly, its magnetism switched on and off at the press of a button. This opens up a new avenue towards electronics with very low energy consumption, according to scientists announcing the discovery.

In a report published in Nature Communications, a University of Manchester team led by Dr Irina Grigorieva shows how to create the elementary magnetic moments in graphene and then switch them on and off. This is the first time magnetism itself has been toggled, rather than the magnetization direction being reversed. Nobel Laureate and co-author of the paper Professor Andre Geim commented: 'I wonder how many more surprises graphene keeps in store. This one has come out of the blue. We have to wait and see for a few years but the switchable magnetism may lead to an impact exceeding most optimistic expectations.'

Professor Antonio Castro Neto, Director of the Graphene Research Centre in Singapore and co-author of the report, said: 'This work opens the doors for new magnetic devices that are atomically thin and can be easily controlled externally with the application of ordinary electric fields. These new devices can be incorporate in electronic circuits in order to create functionalities for control of magnetism and charge that did not exist before. They unify magnetic memories with electric circuits. It is a true breakthrough.'

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