Creation of highly magnetic material could improve computer technologies

March 13, 2017, University of Bristol
This is a reversible formation of a polynickelocene from a moderately strained nickelocene-based monomer. Credit: Manners Group, University of Bristol

Scientists, led by Professor Ian Manners from the University of Bristol's School of Chemistry, have developed a facile route to a highly magnetic material that could provide fundamental improvements to the performance of current computer technologies.

Polymers, or plastics, which feature metal atoms in their structure have been a focus of much research in recent decades, and have found application in , , and information storage.

Metal sandwich complexes, commonly termed 'metallocenes' have also been incorporated into polymeric - most commonly using iron.

Now, researchers from the University of Bristol, together with colleagues from the University of Oxford have created a polymer in which nickel (as 'nickelocene' units) is built into the structure, affording a bright green, highly magnetic material.

The study's first author Rebecca Musgrave said: "Remarkably, we also have the ability to create and destroy this dynamic magnetic polymer using only changes in temperature (via a process called depolymerisation).

"Most materials with cooperative magnetic properties are insoluble or difficult to process, and this nickel-based polymer is a rare example of a readily accessible, easily handled, soluble magnetic polymer."

The interesting electronic and magnetic properties of this will continue to be explored, with the aim of making highly magnetic materials for use in data storage applications, key to improving the performance of current computer technologies.

The study is published in Nature Chemistry.

Explore further: Scientists discover magnetic 'persuasion' in neighboring metals

More information: 'Main-chain metallopolymers at the static-dynamic boundary based on nickelocene' by R. A. Musgrave, A. D. Russell, D. W. Hayward, G. R. Whittell, P. G. Lawrence, P. J. Gates, J. C. Green and I. Manners, Nature Chemistry.

Related Stories

Giant magnetic effects induced in hybrid materials

April 21, 2015

Proximity effects in hybrid heterostructures, which contain distinct layers of different materials, allow one material species to reveal and/or control properties of a dissimilar species. Specifically, for a magnetic thin ...

New combination of materials could speeds up computers

September 5, 2016

Researchers at Uppsala University have discovered a new combination of materials that paves the way for faster and more effective storage in electronic devices like computers and smartphones. What researchers discovered is ...

For the first time, magnets are be made with a 3-D printer

October 25, 2016

Today, manufacturing strong magnets is no problem from a technical perspective. It is, however, difficult to produce a permanent magnet with a magnetic field of a specific pre-determined shape. That is, until now, thanks ...

Recommended for you

New theory shows how strain makes for better catalysts

April 20, 2018

Brown University researchers have developed a new theory to explain why stretching or compressing metal catalysts can make them perform better. The theory, described in the journal Nature Catalysis, could open new design ...

Machine-learning software predicts behavior of bacteria

April 19, 2018

In a first for machine-learning algorithms, a new piece of software developed at Caltech can predict behavior of bacteria by reading the content of a gene. The breakthrough could have significant implications for our understanding ...

Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

April 19, 2018

UConn researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.