When it comes to magnetism there are very less inorganic compounds that exhibit the phenomenon. In order to save both time and energy, Duke University (DU) researchers have recently synthesized two of their own, from a list of 236,115 potential creations.
This is not the first time a magnet has been created in a lab. But so far it has always been the case of hit and miss. To ensure positive development, DU researchers opted a computer generated, less-risk process. Specifically, they worked with a computational model that let them try out different molecules in different arrangements for a class of materials called Heusler alloys, which consist of three different elements arranged in particular ways. Considering the range of possible elements (55) and atomic structures, the potential compounds numbered 236,115.
A total of 22 elements showed characteristics of magnetism with minor changes in their molecules. The list was then brought down to 14 by eliminating the close relatives.
After years of attempts the team of researchers have finally claimed to have made 2 new magnetic material.
The first consists of cobalt, manganese and titanium (Co2MnTi) and holds it magnetism to the impressive temperature of 938 degrees Kelvin (1228 degrees Fahrenheit), which could make it an idea candidate in a range of industrial applications.
The second is made of a mix of manganese, platinum and palladium (Mn2PtPd) and, although it doesn't actually produce a magnetic field of its own, it has electrons that react strongly to magnetic fields. This would make it a good candidate for use in hard drives although, beyond that, its use is somewhat limited because its behavior is difficult to predict.
Information Source: Duke University