The investigation of graphene has become a central field in contemporary science, because of its superior properties and the profusion of physical phenomena that it has revealed. Several central issues remains unexplored, though: how does graphene interact with spins? can one modulate the spin behaviour via interactions with electrons? Answering these questions is important for information storage and logic devices, because graphene is hailed as a potentially ideal material in spintronics, but is largely diamagnetic. 
The research presented on Nature Materials by researchers belonging to EIMM and other major players of the field, shows the effect of graphene phonons and electrons on the spin dynamics of molecules. They show that Dirac electrons introduce dominant quantum-relaxation channels and, allow reaching a quantum tunneling regime, called Villain's tunneling, that was predicted 20 years ago and never observed. A novel theoretical background is provided, fully explaining the data and setting the basis for the understanding of graphene-spin interactions. These observations have profound consequences for the design of graphene spin-processing devices and pave the way to coherent control of graphene-based spintronic devices that can be manipulated electrically.