2-D magnet points the way to new devices

Chromium triiiodide
This is a top-view depiction of a single layer of chromium triiodide. Chromium atoms are depicted in gray, with iodine atoms in purple. (UW / MIT Illustration / Efren Navarro-Moratalla)

For the first time, researchers have discovered magnetism in the two-dimensional realm of monolayers, or materials that consist of a single atomic layer.

The material, known as chromium triiodide or CrI3, could play a role in new types of memory devices with faster data processing speeds.

A team led by researchers from the University of Washington and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology published their results this week in the journal Nature.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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