Graphene and cobalt at the base of new-concept electromagnetic devices

The combination of graphene with metal originates new properties in the magnetism field. This is the new discovery that lays the bases for the development of new logic devices.

One of the recent technologies for digitally encoding information is spin orbitronics, which not only exploits the electron charge (electronics) and its spin (spintronics), but also the spin interaction with its orbital motion, offering a multitude of relevant properties in magnetism.

This technology is applied to some materials to generate very stable magnetic configurations that however can be controlled and moved quickly with even very small currents. The resulting structures are highly promising for future spin-orbitronic devices, as they make available magnetic memories or sensors that are much faster and denser than current ones, providing a high processing speed and data storage capacity, with a low energy consumption.

According to this vision, the European team led by IMDEA Nanociencia Institute has developed a methodology to prepare a system that consists of stacked graphene films positioned on ferromagnetic cobalt, in its turn placed on a platinum layer with a determinate crystallographic orientation.

The two magnetic properties obtained by this system are improvement of the magnetic anisotropy of cobalt (its spines are preferably oriented in a determinate direction), and a strong interaction called Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya, which allows the presence of chiral magnetic structures of nanometric size. These structures called skirmions are very stable and act as carriers of binary information as they travel through graphene.

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