Scientists have developed a method that allows you to control the doping of non-magnetic materials with magnetic elements
Scientists who work in the field of nanotechnology development and represent the University of Twente (Netherlands) have developed a method to control the doping of non-magnetic materials with magnetic elements. The application of the developed technique makes it possible to radically change the electrical behavior of metals and impart the properties of a magnet even to those materials that are semiconductors by their nature. The results of the Dutch physicists’ research were published in the scientific publication Nature Nanotechnology.
In their experiments, Dutch scientists applied a monolayer complex mixture of cobalt and zinc with an organic substance, the ligand terpyridine, onto a thin gold film. In this case, cobalt ions act as a localized magnet, and non-magnetic zinc ions are used as a diluent. As a result, when the level of the relative concentration of cobalt and zinc ions changes, the magnetic properties of the obtained material can be controlled.
A distinctive feature of the experiment is the possibility of obtaining an extremely high level of concentration of magnetic dopane, while the formation of magnetic clusters is excluded. A similar effect is achieved through the use of zinc as a diluent, which is introduced simultaneously with cobalt, which has magnetic properties. Today, in such experiments, the most acute problem is the homogeneous distribution of magnetic particles in the resulting material, especially at a high degree of concentration.
The discovery of Dutch physicists will make it possible in the future to obtain modern materials with a set of unique properties that are not characteristic of a particular substance under normal conditions. For example, it will become possible to obtain magnetic semiconductors that could be used in the future in the development of new supercomputers. The properties of magnetic semiconductors can be used simultaneously in the manufacture of memory, where the magnetic properties of the material are needed, and in data processing, where the electrical properties are important.