[Perspective] Painting magnetism on a canvas of graphene

Thursday, April 21, 2016 - 14:11 in Physics & Chemistry

An inherent aspect of any two-dimensional (2D) sheet is that all atoms in the material lie on the surface. This leads to a concept of 2D crystals as a “canvas,” where different chemical groups or “ink” on the surface can lead to a palette of distinct materials properties. The most well-studied 2D crystal is graphene, a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb lattice. Although graphene's superlative materials properties and novel physical phenomena have led to a variety of applications (1), better tunability of these properties is still required. Toward this end, hydrogenated graphene (graphane) was predicted to have a wide band gap and exhibit magnetic order (2–4), in contrast to graphene, which is (semi)metallic and diamagnetic. The chemical stability of graphene makes hydrogenation difficult to control, and this has hampered efforts to tune its electronic or magnetic properties. On page 437 of this issue, González-Herrero et al....

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