Researchers from Germany, Russia and the USA managed to the conduction electrons' spin-orbit coupling in graphene by a factor of 10,000. Such a device could could enable a spintronics switch that is controlled by a small electric field. The switch will include two perpendicular spin filters that will be controlled by the electric field.
To develop this, the researchers placed graphene on a nickel substrate in which atoms are separated by the same distance as the graphene's hexagonal meshes. They then deposited gold atoms on the device which ended up between the graphene and nickel sheets.