University of Groningen physicists have induced magnetism in platinum with an electric field created by a paramagnetic ionic liquid. As only the surface of the platinum is affected, this creates a switchable 2-D ferromagnet. The study was published in Science Advances on 6 April.
Although platinum is an excellent conductor, it has no magnetic properties. However, University of Groningen scientists have induced ferromagnetic states on the surface of a thin film of platinum. "You can tune magnets electrically by changing the number of carriers inside, which is one of the key ideas in spintronics. But so far, no one could generate magnets like that," says Associate Professor Justin Ye, chair of the Device Physics of Complex Materials group at the University of Groningen.