This one's for all you graphene fans out there. You know who you are.
|Physicists have found that, by removing individual atoms from a graphite surface, they can create local magnetic moments in the graphite. The discovery could lead to techniques to artificially create magnets that are nonmetallic and biocompatible, as well as cheaper and lighter than current magnets.|
|â€œTo create a magnet from a pure carbon system is a tantalizing possibility since this would be a metal-free magnet and thus optimal for applications in biomedicine,â€ Brihuega said. â€œIn addition, it should be much cheaper to produce than conventional magnets since, to give some numbers, a ton of carbon costs around a thousand times less than a ton of nickel ($16 vs. $16,000), a commonly used material in actual magnets. In the case of graphene systems, one would also have flexibility and lightness as additional advantages; but to date, the total magnetization reported for these systems is very low when compared with the strongest existing magnets.|
â€œIn my opinion,â€ he added, â€œthe brightest future in terms of applications stems in the emerging field of spintronics, i.e. in trying to exploit the 'spin' of the unpaired electron for creating new spin-based devices.â€