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Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Graphene-based synthetic antiferromagnets and ferrimagnets

A team of researchers from ALBA and the ICN2 have developed novel graphene-based antiferromagnetic multilayer structures featuring robust magnetic properties. These results, published in Nature Communications, demonstrate that single-layer graphene spaced magnetic thin film structures present perpendicular antiferromagnetic coupling together with a number of properties that are well suited for applications.

Graphene-spaced magnetic systems with antiferromagnetic exchange-coupling offer exciting opportunities for emerging technologies. Unfortunately, the in-plane graphene-mediated exchange-coupling found so far is not appropriate for realistic exploitation, due to being weak, of complex nature and requiring low temperatures.

A group of researchers have demonstrated that ultra-thin Fe/graphene/Co films grown on Ir(111) exhibit robust perpendicular antiferromagnetic exchange-coupling, and gather a collection of magnetic properties well-suited for applications. The work, published in Nature Communications, was led by researchers from the BOREAS beamline of the ALBA Synchrotron in collaboration with members of the ICN2 Theory and Simulation Group.

Atomistic first-principles simulations provide further ground for the feasibility of graphene-spaced antiferromagnetic coupled structures, confirming graphene’s direct role in sustaining antiferromagnetic superexchange-coupling between the magnetic films. These results provide a path for the realization of graphene-based perpendicular synthetic antiferromagnetic systems, which seem exciting for fundamental nanoscience or potential use in spintronic devices.

Information via: ALBA Synchrotron

Article reference:
P. Gargiani, R. Cuadrado, H. B. Vasili, M. Pruneda & M. Valvidares. Graphene-based synthetic antiferromagnets and ferrimagnetsNature Communications 8, article number: 699 (2017). DOI:10.1038/s41467-017-00825-9