New element with magnetic properties discovered

WASHINGTON: Scientists have discovered that the chemical element ruthenium (Ru) is the fourth element to have unique magnetic properties at room temperature.

The discovery, led by researchers at the University of Minnesota in the US, could be used to improve sensors, devices in the computer memory and logic industry, or other devices using magnetic materials.

The use of ferromagnetism, or the basic mechanism by which certain materials (such as iron) form permanent magnets or are attracted to magnets, reaches back as far as ancient times when lodestone was used for navigation.

Since then only three elements on the periodic table have been found to be ferromagnetic at room temperature – iron (Fe), cobalt (Co), and nickel (Ni). The rare earth element gadolinium (Gd) nearly misses by only 8 degrees Celsius.

The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, opens the door to fundamental studies of this new ferromagnetic Ru.

Magnetic materials are very important in…

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