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A 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics was given for the discovery of graphene. Graphene is a 2-D material that display a unique mix of properties including unprecedented electric conductivity, thermal conductance, mechanical properties, and others, which make it a very promising material to be used in future information processing, medical, and other applications. The only missing property for graphene to become the only known to date universal material was magnetism. It is not surprising why the search for magnetic properties in graphene has become of the most important scientific frontiers in the world. The main challenge was to establish stable long-range magnetic states in 2-D graphene systems.
Multi-disciplinary researchers in Professor Sakhrat Khizroev group at Florida International University teamed up with Dr. Jeongmin Hong at the UC Berkeley, Professor Robert Haddon at UC-Riverside, and Professor Walt de Heer at Georgia Institute of Technology to experimentally demonstrate (for the first time) the presence of magnetic properties in graphene nanostructures at room temperature.
After working on this challenge since 2008, this multi-campus team has finally overcome this challenge by using refined functionalization chemistry to induce interacting magnetic spins in 1- and 2-dimensional graphene nanostructures. The pristine graphene used in these experiments was epitaxially grown in Georgia Tech. Then, it was chemically functionalized at UC-Riverside. The physics of magnetism was studied at FIU and Berkeley. Their study was presented in ACS Nano on October 28 online and will be presented in the issue of November.
The project is supported through National Science Foundation (NSF) Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) "Graphene-based Nanoelectronics" at Georgia Tech. This work is a continuation of the original research by the same team from a few years ago (published in Scientific Reports).
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