MAGNETISM

A dilute 2D magnet

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Science  09 Jul 2021:
Vol. 373, Issue 6551, pp. 176-177
DOI: 10.1126/science.373.6551.176-d

Recently discovered two-dimensional (2D) van der Waals magnets exhibit a number of appealing properties, such as a large magnetoresistance. Most of these materials, however, need to be cooled to below room temperature to exhibit these properties and are sensitive to environmental conditions. To address these issues, Chen et al. exploited an old idea, doping an oxide with magnetic atoms, but this time in 2D rather than 3D. The researchers used graphitic zinc oxide, a layered compound in which zinc and oxygen atoms are arranged in a hexagonal pattern, and substituted some zinc atoms with cobalt. The samples exhibited ferromagnetism down to monolayer thickness, even at room temperature. Extrinsic mechanisms for magnetism were excluded with careful characterization and control experiments.

Nat. Commun. 12, 3952 (2021).

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