Graphene Used to Make Magnets Without Metals

A group of Czech scientists from the Regional Centre of Advanced Technologies and Materials (RCPTM) have created a graphene-based non-metallic magnet that retains its magnetic properties at room temperature and below. It was previously believed that all materials with magnetic properties at room temperature had to be based on either metals or their compounds. 

Per an article in Palacký University News, “’For several years, we have suspected that the path to magnetic carbon could involve — a single two-dimensional layer of carbon atoms. Amazingly, by treating it with other non-metallic elements such as fluorine, hydrogen, and oxygen, we were able to create a new source of magnetic moments that communicate with each other even at room temperature. This discovery is seen as a huge advancement in the capabilities of organic magnets,’ says Radek Zbo?il, the lead author of the project and director of RCPTM.”

While the commercial implementation of organic magnets won’t be around for some time, the future applications for them are practically limitless, particularly in the field. 

“‘Such magnetic graphene-based materials have not only potential applications in the fields of spintronics and , but also in medicine for targeted drug delivery and for separating molecules using external magnetic fields,’ says Ji?í Tu?ek, whose work focuses on solid-state magnetism. The Czech scientists are already collaborating with colleagues from Japan and Belgium to look at applications of organic magnets and to develop accurate theoretical models describing the unique magnetic properties of these new materials.”

Source: Palacký University Olomouc

Publication journal: Radek Zbo?il, et al., Room temperature organic magnets derived from sp3 functionalized graphene”. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, vol. 8, 14525, 2017