New Ultrathin Form of Magnetic Carbon


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Scientists from the Palacky University in Olomouc have recently created a breakthrough discovery. They have developed the first non-metallic magnet that retains its magnetic properties under normal temperature. This novel non-metallic magnet is an ultrathin form of carbon i.e., magnetic carbon that made from graphene.

This newly created magnetic carbon have opposed the old concept that all materials with room temperature magnetism are based on metals or their compounds.

The idea arises because of Olomouc scientists work. Their work demonstrates a theoretical model to explain the origin of magnetism in these carbon materials.

Led Author Radek Zbořil said, “For several years, we have suspected that the path to magnetic carbon could involve graphene. It is 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.”

The magnetism in metallic systems is actually the output of the behavior of electrons in the atomic structure of metals. But this newly developed organic magnet reveals its magnetic properties through the behavior of non-metallic chemical radicals that carry free electrons.

Jiri Tucek said, “The path from this discovery to practical applications may be relatively long. However, the range of potential uses is enormous. I think that not only our team in Olomouc but also the broad scientific community will want to exploit the huge surface area of graphene and the potential of combining its unique conductivity and electronic properties with magnetism. Such magnetic graphene– based materials have potential applications in the fields of spintronics and electronics. It might also use in medicine for targeted drug delivery and for separating molecules using external magnetic fields.”

In addition to this magnetic carbon, scientists also discovered the world’s smallest metal magnets.

Zbořil said, “We have taken several important steps towards developing the first magnetic molecules. The magnetism of this molecules can be manipulated at room temperature.”

“Recent experiments in our labs have clearly confirmed the possibility of creating such molecules. So, we are now collaborating with the group of Professor Pavel Hobza to develop detailed theoretical explanations for the unique behavior of these molecular magnets. I aim to be, for the third time, faster than competing research teams around the world, especially given the potentially immense impact of organic magnetic materials in fields such as molecular electronics and sensing.”