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Chemists at Ludwig-Maximilias-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have synthesized a ferromagnetic superconducting compound that is amenable to chemical modification, opening the route to detailed studies of this rare combination of physical properties.

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Innovation Redefined. . . @IJIRST

Superconductivity and ferromagnetism — the “normal” form of magnetism, such as that found in the familiar horseshoe magnet — are like chalk and cheese: They generally don’t go together. Ferromagnets are magnetic because the parallel alignment of adjacent electron spins in the iron atoms generates a strong internal magnetic field. Almost all known superconductors, on the other hand, form pairs of “anti-aligned” electrons and exclude magnetic field lines from their interiors. But LMU chemists have discovered a new material in which these two properties can coexist: “We have synthesized a new compound which exhibits both characteristics at the same time: It is a ferromagnetic superconductor,” says Professor Dirk Johrendt of the Department of Chemistry. “This is an important advance, which opens up new research opportunities in the field,” he adds.

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