The rising popularity of digital gadgets has spurred the necessity for built-in circuits which are light weight, devour ultra-low energy and are extremely environment friendly. Technology firms are more and more specializing in nano electronics for creating such gadgets however using nano materials like graphene continues to be difficult as there may be little proof of it displaying intrinsic magnetism.
Now researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Hyderabad and University of Hyderabad have proven that graphene can be made magnetic with the control on electric field and temperature. They’ve shown this in single layer zigzag graphene nanoribbons.
Graphene, a carbon material, is the thinnest and strongest materials identified. It came into the limelight after its exceptional quantum properties fetched Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics. From then on, there are numerous ongoing research tasks for its applications in nano electronics.
The crew exploited intrinsic magnetism on this light weight smooth magnetic materials, and in addition noticed prevalence of varied magnetic phases and its transitions from one section to another. It has designed a strategy to establish the position of the appeared magnetic phases, shifting in the direction of making ‘graphene chip’ a reality in future. The research team consists of this author and the work was supervised by Dr Amit Acharyya and Dr. Swati Ghosh Acharyya.
When your laptop or your cell phone gets too heated up beyond the edge, you’d generally get panicky that chips inside the cellphone would have burnt out. That’s why some cellphone producers these days declare that their cellphone chipsets are based on 14nm finfet technology and that they’ve superior thermal management. But, we are facing the heating issues.
Simply think about a situation where the heat generated by way of the chipset could be harnessed to carry out computations. Researchers proceeded with this fascinating thought. What if the temperature and electrical field can be utilized to induce magnetism in graphene nanoribbons? There are already reported cases in scientific literature that electrical field and temperature can be individually used for controlling or inducing magnetism.
To be able to make ‘graphene processors’ a reality, the key issue to be addressed is thermal administration. To realize this, we need a mechanism which may harness extra heat generated in the operation of gadgets to induce magnetism. Our group envisaged a processor application utilizing a single-layer zigzag graphene nanoribbon which could potentially harness heat generated within the system, to reduce the voltage requirement and to carry out computations (data propagation) utilizing spins.
The researchers carried out computational study on pristine free standing single layer zig-zag graphene nanoribbons typically in the size of 1 to 50 nanometers to study magnetic properties. They could induce intrinsic magnetism in nonmagnetic graphene by application of electrical field and temperature.
At a specific value of electrical field and temperature, paramagnetism was seen and additional tuning to different values led to achievement of ferromagnetism and antiferromagnetism. It was noticed that if one value (say electrical field) is kept fixed, the other value (temperature) can be elevated or decreased to acquire totally different magnetic phases and vice versa. It means if one’s laptop is generating excessive temperature, lower electric field could achieve the distinct magnetic phases in nano ribbons.
Not limiting themselves to electrical field and temperature, the researchers additionally constructed a bow-tie scheme to induce magnetism in majority of the carbon allotropes. This thermoelectromagnetic impact and unusual behavior of magnetism in graphene which is tunable are definitely a stepping stone in the direction of graphene electronics. The work could pave the way for stretching performance of built-in circuits and eventually result in realization of laptops powered by graphene-based microprocessors.
The research team included Santhosh Sivasubramani, Sanghamitra Debroy, Amit Acharyya (IIT Hyderabad); Swati Ghosh Acharyya (University of Hyderabad). The study results were published in journal Nanotechnology. The research work is partially funded by Redpine Signals, Department of Science and Technology (DST), Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.