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Making Graphene Magnetic

The lifetime of a spin in graphene is very long... yet this material isn't magnetic. Seeking new applications in spintronics, researchers from INAC have used computer simulations to show that a graphene film can be spin-polarized thanks to a proximity effect with an insulating magnetic material such as iron and yttrium garnet (YIG) or a europium chalcogenide.
Published on 11 September 2017

Growing graphene on a magnetic substrate has proven unsuccessful for spintronic applications due to an incompatibility between electric conductivities. With this in mind, researchers from INAC have conducted a study on the interaction of proximity exchange between a graphene sheet and an insulating magnetic material to confer magnetic properties to the graphene.

Thanks to ab-initio calculations, the scientists from INAC have compared the exchange-proximity effects induced in graphene by four compounds: two ferromagnetic europium chalcogenides (EuO, EuS) and two ferrimagnetic insulators (CFO or CoFe2O4, YIG or Y3Fe5O12).

For all compounds, the electronic band structure of graphene is modified, with negative doping for europium and yttrium chalcogenides and positive doping for CFO.

These results obtained within the Graphene Flagship European program open a window to the design of spin logic gates in graphene by means of proximity effects.

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