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Science Technology

New Spin On Graphene Makes It Magnetic 58

intellitech writes "A team led by Professor Andre Geim, a recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize for graphene, has shown that electric current can magnetize graphene. The researchers found a new way to interconnect spin and charge by applying a relatively weak magnetic field to graphene and found that this causes a flow of spins in the direction perpendicular to electric current, making a graphene sheet magnetised."
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New Spin On Graphene Makes It Magnetic

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  • Magnets (Score:5, Funny)

    by xMrFishx ( 1956084 ) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @08:27PM (#35844058)
    This, is how they work!
    • Fucking Clowns.
      • Finally, my sig is relevant!

        But, seriously, graphene (and some lab-precision equipment... well, *reliable* lab-precision equipment---a 20-year-old tube electrometer thrown out by a university lab for being flukey doesn't count) would be terribly fun to experiment with (at least for me). Measuring material properties is one of my interests.
        In terms of semiconductor experimentation at home, there's always copper oxides, but, meh... it's been over-done.

      • Perhaps that song was a reference to line 2 of Pink Floyd's "High Hopes":
        "In a world of magnets and miracles"
        But they're probably just dumb clowns.
    • How does it work?

  • by tmosley ( 996283 ) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @08:30PM (#35844072)
    I wonder if it would be possible to pulse magnetism through a long ribbon, creating a no moving parts lift mechanism for a space elevator?
  • by gmhowell ( 26755 ) <> on Saturday April 16, 2011 @08:42PM (#35844120) Homepage Journal

    Hey, that's great that they have a Nobel Prize for graphene, but isn't that... I don't know... a little specific?

    • by maswan ( 106561 )

      If you are nitpicking, how about the fact that the team is not headed by Geim at all, but by Physics Professor Michael S. Fuhrer of the UMD Center for Nanophysics and Advanced Materials. The only mention of Geim is as one of the two recipients of the Nobel Prize in physics for their graphene work.

  • by Haedrian ( 1676506 ) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @08:47PM (#35844138) there anything it can't do?

  • Graphene is the best substance in the universe. I put it on my breakfast cereal in the morning, I use it for fuel in my hovercraft, it blocks the damaging UV rays from giving me spin cancer, my cat litter box is filled with it, and the sheets that tuck me in at night are woven from Graphene... I LOVE this stuff

  • by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @08:59PM (#35844206)
    • The team was lead by Michael Fuhrer, not Andrew Geim. The only relationship Geim has to this article is that he received a Nobel for discovering a process to create the material that these researched used (i.e. graphene)
    • It's not electric current that magnetizing the graphene, it's small impurities - specifically, gaps in the lattice. The magnetism is controllable by tuning the number and location of the impurities, which is what makes this potentially useful
    • This doesn't have anything to do with spin, except insofar as all electromagnetism topics do. Spintronics is only mentioned at the very end of the article as something this "could also have interesting applications in".

    It's almost like the summary is describing a different article.

  • by Locutus ( 9039 ) on Saturday April 16, 2011 @09:25PM (#35844306)
    coming soon!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Get perpendicular?

  • by Kazymyr ( 190114 ) on Sunday April 17, 2011 @07:21AM (#35846696) Journal

    I assume the article author means _permanent_ magnets (and reading TFA confirms they talk about ferromagnetism), because otherwise any old piece of wire you pass an electric current through becomes a "magnet"

    • by ErikZ ( 55491 ) *

      Will water become magnetic when you run current through it?

      • by Kazymyr ( 190114 )

        What do you think?

        No, wait, I don't want to know what you think. Do the experiment. Take a tube, fill it with water (if you use distilled water add a bit of salt to it, because distilled water is an insulator) and run a current through it. Measure the magnetic field around the tube, and you'll have the answer. But please keep the answer to yourself, because everyone else already knows it.

      • if you put enough voltage across your water to overcome the insulating properties of the water and crack it into oxygen and hydrogen then yes the resulting ions will conduct.

        but unless you have access to Gigavolts or so you just don't use absolutely pure water.

        but your answer is yes any time (use the righthand rule to keep directions straight) you have current +motion you will have a magnetic field.

  • Please people RTFA before you comment.

    I'm no expert on this stuff but my interpretation of what is being discussed is that the use of vacancies in graphene allows interesting conduction properties and the control of the magnetic properties of the graphene in a manner that does not exist in metals.

    From the article:

    "The result would be a ferromagnet, like iron, but instead made only of carbon. Magnetism in graphene could lead to new types of nanoscale sensors of magnetic fields. And, when coupled with graphene's tremendous electrical properties, magnetism in graphene could also have interesting applications in the area of spintronics, which uses the magnetic moment of the electron, instead of its electric charge, to represent the information in a computer.

    "This opens the possibility of 'defect engineering' in graphene -- plucking out atoms in the right places to design the magnetic properties you want," said Fuhrer.

    I don't know about you but that does seem interesting to me.

  • What next? If you run electricity "backwards" through it, you get negative gravity? Repulsor lifts and anti-grav sleds become real?

    We insert it into nervous systems and grant telekinesis?

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