Graphene spin switches and magnetism

Investing in graphene just got another thumbs up. Researchers at Fudan University in China have just announced that a theoretical study of graphene has revealed the material’s suitability for the manufacture of spin switches. Spin switches rely on magnetic spin properties rather than electric charge to produce the kind of “valves” used in such advanced applications as hard disk drive read heads. Although it is not necessary to understand the science in order to make a well informed financial decision the news adds to the increasing number of research studies that suggest investing in graphene would be a prescient financial decision.

The researchers found that graphene nanoribbons maximise the unique edge properties of graphene to produce spin polarization. Their calculations show how the nanoribbons of two graphene islands form parallel and anti-parallel  polarizations with respect to each other depending on the amount of energy passed across them. The spin anti-aligned islands do not pass electrons across them, whilst the spin aligned islands do; such a clear mechanism of switching makes the graphene ideal for work in the emerging field of spintronics.

In addition, news from Japan suggests that researchers have found a way to produce a magnetism in graphene. The production of hydrogen terminated nanopores on a graphene sheet affects the spin value of the zigzag edges of the hioneycomb structure. The phenomenon occurs at room temperature and could one day be used to produce strong and light magnets and spintronic devices.

Sources: Tokyo institute of Tehnology.

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