Is Cobalt Graphene More Powerful than Platinum?

Institutions have started to modify the molecular bonds of graphene through a cataclysm. Brown University serves as an example as they have spearheaded research that mixes graphene film and cobalt.

In the study, Brown University covered a graphene membrane with the nanoparticles of cobalt and cobalt oxide.  Their research enables the product to reduce oxygen reaction in the same way platinum does. However, compared to platinum, the one with graphene proved to be more durable.

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Platinum Catalyst

The oxygen decrease response happens on the cathode side of a hydrogen power device. Oxygen acts as a sink, taking electrons from hydrogen fuel. Subsequently, it makes electrical get that keeps the flow going through electrical gadgets fueled by the cell.

As stated by experts, the response between chemicals needs a catalyst, and that platinum serves the best performance. However, the material remains costly, with few resources to go around.

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Graphene-Cobalt Catalyst

The problem remained unsolved as experts were not able to unveil a valuable replacement for platinum. Specialists conducted more research to develop a refined catalyst that can serve the purpose of platinum. However, most of the time, the products they produce require a proportion of platinum. Thus, creating a catalyst without platinum remains out of the picture for them.

By 2012, Brown University conducted a study that involved using graphene and cobalt to create a catalyst. According to Brown University chemist Shouheng Sun, the interaction between graphene and cobalt creates the best reduction performance. Furthermore, their performance has served top-notch qualities for a nonplatinum catalyst.


The graphene-cobalt catalyst remains at the top spot as a candidate to replace platinum. Citing the researchers, their product remains the only catalyst to reach platinum’s properties.

In their research, they compared the performance of graphene-cobalt catalyst and platinum. Their observation inferred that the combination of graphene and cobalt started the reduction of oxygen slower than platinum. However, they noted that the new catalyst could reduce the amount of oxygen faster than platinum. With all things considered, the graphene-cobalt catalyst has its ups and downs, as mentioned in the study.

Additionally, they claimed that the graphene-cobalt catalyst remained more consistent than platinum. They specified that platinum degraded during the experimentation, faster than the new catalyst. The event proved that the combination of graphene and cobalt could endure more exertion than platinum.

The researchers also mentioned that both materials performed differently after 17 hours of experimentation, compared to their initial execution. According to Sun, the graphene-cobalt catalyst degraded its performance by only 30%, while platinum faded for more than 10% of the other material.

Therefore, graphene-cobalt maintained 70% of its initial capabilities at the latter part of the testing, outperforming the power of platinum by 60%

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Graphene and Cobalt: A Way to Electromagnetic Devices

In the world of electromagnetics, the integration of graphene with metal materials is growing. It is the latest breakthrough that sets the foundations for the development of new logic devices. Spin orbitronics is a relatively new technology for digitally encoding information. It takes advantage of the electron charge (electronics), spin (spintronics), and the spin interaction with orbital motion. Spin orbitronics provide several properties that are significant in magnetism. These properties include fast processing speed, large data storage capacity, and minimal energy usage. It aids a few materials in constructing magnetic configurations that are stable but controlled with lower voltage currents.

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Graphene v. Cobalt

Graphene, a single atomic graphite layer, has a hexagonal lattice structure. It is a “wonder material.” It is because of the attributes the material has, such as:

  • Durability (It is more durable than diamond and more robust than steel)
  • The captivating light absorption capability
  • An excellent conductor of heat
  • High electricity conductivity

Cobalt, on the other hand, functions as the resistance of heat and magnetic alloys. Animals, plants, rocks, soil, and water are some of the things that have cobalt. Also, cobalt has the same properties as iron and nickel. Some of the properties are:

  • Ferromagnetic, silver-white, lustrous, and brittle.
  • It is inert in air and does not react with water.
  • It has a magnetism capability.
  • It slowly reacts with dilute acids.
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Spin Orbitronics

Recently, a team of Europeans led the development of the methodology to prepare graphene spin-orbitronic systems. As manifested by the results, it indicated that the resulting structures are a promising material for the upcoming ‘spin-orbitronic devices.’. These devices offer excellent processing rates and excellent data storage capacity with minimal energy consumption.

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The components of the device have graphene sheets positioned on a ferromagnetic material: cobalt. The arrangement of cobalt is in turn on a platinum layer with a specific crystallographic disposition. According to Paolo Perna, the primary author of the study, the configuration is advantageous. Graphene’s extraordinary properties allow for the development of a homogeneous, smooth, and secure magnetic layer that is also atomically perfect.

In addition, Perna also emphasised the need for improvement in the magnetic anisotropy of cobalt. Preferably, the orientation must be in a particular direction. Additionally, there a deep interaction called Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya. Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya enables the occurrence of chiral magnetic complexes that do not interfere with its specular image.

Skyrmions Used for Conveying Binary Information

Skyrmions are nanometric magnetic structures. It is very stable and it functions as carriers of binary information as it moves through the graphene. Perna explained that each time the skyrmion passes through two electrical contacts, the skyrmion generates a variation in electrical activity that can encrypt into zeros and ones.

In the succeeding years, it will be feasible to generate spin-orbitronic magnetic devices. The development of technologies such as magnetic memories of sensors, which are better and denser than those currently used, would enable less energy usage.

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