Posted on 26th August 2021 in the categories: Magnetics

The World’s Smallest Magnet Just Got Smaller

Horse shoe magnet under magnifying glass

Nano-scientists have created the world’s smallest magnet, a slice of material, just a single atom thick. The discovery of this ultra-thin magnet not only makes 2D magnetism possible at room temperature, but it also uncovers a new mechanism to realise 2D magnetic materials.

The ultra-thin magnet operates at room temperature, therefore presenting new opportunities for the development of technology, such as:

  • Memory devices
  • Research into ferromagnetism and quantum physics

The development of the ultra-thin magnet

The magnet was discovered by scientists at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley. “We’re the first to make a room-temperature 2D magnet that is chemically stable under ambient conditions,” said senior author Jie Yao, a faculty scientist in Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division.

Typically, the magnetic component in today’s memory devices are made up of magnetic thin films. However, at the atomic level, these materials are still three-dimensional which means they are hundreds or thousands of atoms thick. Over last couple of decades, researchers have explored ways to make thinner and smaller 2D magnets in order for data to be stored at a higher density.

Previously, 2D magnetic materials have brought promising results, however they lose their magnetism and become chemically unstable at room temperature. However, this ultra-thin magnet is the first of its kind, operating at room temperature or higher and it’s also the first magnet to reach the true 2D limit, while being as thin as a single atom.

The new material

This amazing achievement was made using a material called cobalt-doped van der Waals zinc-oxide. As the name suggests, it’s created by combining graphene oxide, zinc, and cobalt.

The new material of the ultra-thin magnet can be bent into almost any shape without breaking and significantly thinner than a sheet of paper. With this, the ultra-thin magnet could help advance the application of spin electronics or spintronics, a new technology that “uses the orientation of an electron’s spin rather than its charge to encode data”. The discovery of this new, robust ultra-thin magnet has been described as a genuine breakthrough by scientists across the globe.

High quality industrial magnets from Goudsmit UK         

Goudsmit UK offer a variety of permanent magnetic materials, Neodymium Iron Boron, Samarium Cobalt, Aluminium Nickel Cobalt and Ferrite. These materials are offered both as standard catalogue items and as tailored designs based on your specifications. All magnetic products manufactured by Goudsmit UK also meet or exceed ISO 9001 and AS 9120B quality standards.

Clients often require a pre-designed assembly, alongside some design work performed on their assembly, device, or product. In addition to supplying magnets, Goudsmit UK focus on engineering and design, offering the following support services to our clients:

  • 2D and 3D magnetic design
  • Mechanical design
  • Finite element analysis (FEA)
  • Mechanical analysis
  • Thermal analysis

Additionally, Goudsmit UK specialise in assembling magnets, having developed substantial knowledge and skills in this field. Specialised magnet assemblies offered include:

  • Mechanical assembly
  • Insert moulding
  • Over moulding
  • Gluing
  • Heat staking
  • Ultrasonic welding
  • Brazing

Your Partner for Quality Engineered Components

Should you have a special requirement, our team of design engineers will be happy to create a custom solution. Additionally, a variety of complementary services from design and consultancy to logistics and warehousing can help you grow your business. Shipping approximately 10 million magnets per annum, you can count on Goudsmit UK to meet your scheduling requirements.

For more information download our brochure.

Contact our team at or on +44 (0) 2890 271 001.

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