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FIU - Magnetic properties in Graphene - Unlock broad applications from information processing-to-medicine platforms

DCN Corp® - Florida International University (FIU) in collaboration with The University of California-Berkeley (UCB), The University of California-Riverside (UCR) and The Georgia Institute of Technology (GIT).  Credit - Dr Sakhrat Khizroev, Professor in FIU's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (www.ece.fiu.edu/sakhrat-khizroev/)Since the Nobel Committee awarded the prize in Physics for the discovery of Graphene - the'wonder material' - researchers worldwide have been trying to establish the presence of Graphene magnetism.  Such magnetism could revolutionise the future applications of Graphene

A team of researchers from Florida International University (FIU), the University of California-Berkeley (UCB), the University of California-Riverside (UCR) and the Georgia Institute of Technology (GIT) have potentially unlocked a secret.  The secret being able to have established the presence of magnetic properties in Graphene nano-structures at room temperature.

As stated by Sakhrat Khizroev, Professor in FIU's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering - "our discovery could make Graphene the most important contender in the race to become the core material in future computer chips."

The research team, which also includes Jeongmin Hong at UCB, Robert Haddon at UCR and Walt de Heer at the GIT has been working on such Graphene magnetism experiments since 2008.  The pristine nature of Graphene used in the experiments was grown at GIT and subsequently chemically treated at UCR.  The physics of magnetism was studied at FIU and UCB.

The future applications of 'magnetic' Graphene could stretch broadly from information processing-to-medicine platforms.  Currently a major focus for Khizroev and co-researchers is its application in the emerging fields of spintronics.  Spintronics defines as "spin transport electronics".  Also, sometimes dubbed as magneto electronics.  Spintronics involves a signal being processed using magnetic spin properties instead of an electric charge.  The application of such a concept could result in higher/faster data transfer speed, greater processing power and increased memory density and storage capacity.

Khizroev and co-researchers believe their discoveries could lead to spintronic devices for energy-efficient and extremely fast information processing, such as the next phase of miniaturizing electronics by a factor of 1/1000.  In other words the conversion rate from micro-to-nano electronics.  For example, at present, it is commonly accepted by semiconductor experts that Silicon (Si) transistors have already physically gone as small as they can realistically go.  However, it is predicted that Graphene is of strong interest to such industries, because the scope of miniaturization is seen as being important.

Khizroev concludes on stating - "we have spent the last five years working on this important challenge," - as well as - "demonstrating the presence of long-range magnetic order is functionalised Graphene nano-structures paves the way to realising the dream of spintronics."  Original article available here

Please Note the research team published their findings in the American Chemical Society (ACS) Nano publication. [1]

The FIU et al. findings provide a great insight onto the potential uses of Graphene magnetism and something which DCN Corp strongly believes it can easily help facilitate.  Therefore, if you and/or your colleagues are interested in making the above research findings reality - please ensure to contact the company as soon as practicably possible.

[1] Hong, J., Bekyarova, E., de Heer, W.A., Haddon, R.C. and Khizroev, S. Chemically engineered Graphene-based 2D organic molecular magnet. ACS Nano 7, 11, 10011-10022 (2013)