Ferromagnetism Material

What is Ferromagnetism?

Ferromagnetism or the meaning of ferromagnetism is a mechanism through which certain materials form permanent magnets. With the aid of a strong electrostatic field, these materials can be permanently magnetized. Ferromagnetic metal ions are grouped into small regions called solid-state domains. So every domain is acting like a tiny magnet. The domains of a ferromagnetic unmagnetized piece are randomly oriented so that their magnetic moments are canceled out. When this material is put in a magnetic field, all domains are oriented in the direction of the magnetic field, creating a powerful magnetic effect. Also, when the magnetic field is withdrawn and the ferromagnetic material becomes a permanent magnet, this order of domains remains the same. There are many different forms of magnetism, but ferromagnetism is of the strongest form and is responsible for the widespread occurrence of magnetism in magnets experienced in everyday life. 

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Examples of Ferromagnetic Materials

  1. Co (Cobalt)

  2. Fe (Iron)

  3. MnBi

  4. Ni (Nickel)

  5. Nd2Fe14 B

  6. MnSb

  7. CrO2 (Chromium dioxide)

  8. MnAs 


Properties of Ferromagnetic Materials

  • When a rod of this material is placed in a magnetic field, it quickly aligns itself in the field track.

  • These substances show the permanent magnetism even in the absence of magnetic field

  • When the substances are heated at high temperatures, the ferromagnetic substances transform to paramagnetic

  • Permeability of ferromagnetic material is greater than 1.

  • The mechanism of ferromagnetism is absent in liquids and gases.

  • The intensity of magnetization (M), relative permeability (µr), magnetic susceptibility (χm), and magnetic flux density (B) of this material will be positive always.

Χm = \[\frac{M}{H}\]

µr= 1 + Χm

B =    µ0(H+M)

            µ0 → Magnetic permittivity of the free space.

            H → Applied magnetic field strength.


Hysteresis Loop

The hysteresis loop is formed by altering the magnetizing force while at the same time measuring the material's magnetic flux. When a ferromagnetic material is magnetized in one direction, removal of the imposed magnetizing field will not relax back to zero magnetization. A field in the opposite direction needs to drive it back to zero. When an alternating magnetic field is applied to the object, a loop called a hysteresis loop can be traced for its magnetization.

The absence of magnetization curve re-traceability is the property called hysteresis, which is due to the presence of magnetic domains in the material. Upon reorientation of the magnetic domains, it takes some energy to turn them back.

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This property is useful as a magnetic "memory" of ferromagnetic materials. The magnetic memory aspects of iron make them useful for recording audiotape and for storing data magnetically on computer disks.


Curie Temperature

There is a temperature, over which the ferromagnetic material is paramagnetic. This specific temperature is called temperature Curie. This is, if we rise above Curie temperature, it will cause the ferromagnetic materials to lose their magnetic properties. Curie temperature is represented by TC. Thermal energy interrupts the magnetic ordering of the dipoles in the ferromagnetic material. 

Ethermal = kBT

Curie’s law is given by X = \[\frac{C}{T}\]

kB → Boltzmann constant

T → Temperature(Kelvin)

C → Curie Constant

Examples, 

  • Fe - 1043 K

  • Ni - 627 K

  • Gd - 293 K

  • Co - 1388 K


What is Antiferromagnetism?

Antiferromagnetic materials are weakly magnetized in the direction of the field, in the presence of a strong magnetic field. This property of the materials is called antiferromagnetism and antiferromagnetic materials are called the materials which exhibit this property. The magnetic moments are aligned in opposite directions in antiferromagnetic materials and are equal in magnitude. Thus, when antiferromagnetic material is unmagnetized the net magnetization is zero due to the exact cancelation of magnetic moments of the adjacent atoms when added in a line.


Application of Ferromagnetic Materials

Ferromagnetic materials have many applications for electrical, magnetic storage, and electromechanical equipment.

  • Permanent Magnets: Ferromagnetic materials are used for making permanent magnets because its magnetization lasts longer. 

  • Transformer Core: A material used to make the transformer core and choke is subjected to very rapid cyclical changes and the material must also have strong magnetic induction. Ferromagnetic materials are highly used to serve the purpose. 

  • Magnetic Tapes and Memory Store: The magnetization of a magnet is not only dependent on the magnetization field but also on the magnetization cycle it has undergone. Thus, the specimen's magnetization value is a record of the magnetization cycles that it has undergone. Thus, such a machine will serve as a memory storage unit.


Fun Facts

  • Magnetar is the most powerful magnet in the universe.

  • Hammering a magnet can cause its magnetic properties to lose out. Heating up a magnet is another means of destroying its magnetic properties. This is because the molecules lose their alignment north-south and get arranged in random directions.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the Cause of Ferromagnetism in Ferromagnetic Material?

Ans. Atomic dipoles in small areas, called domains, are oriented in the same direction in a ferromagnetic substance in the unmagnetized state. Without even an external magnetizing field, the domains exhibit a net magnetic moment. However, neighboring domain magnetic moments are geared in opposite directions. They cancel out each other and hence, therefore, the material's net magnetic moment is zero. Such domains all align themselves in the direction of the field applied when applying an external magnetic field. In this way, the material is strongly magnetized in a parallel direction to the magnetizing field.

2. What is the Difference Between Ferromagnetic and Antiferromagnetic Material?

Ans. The major difference between ferromagnetism and antiferromagnetism is that ferromagnetism can be found in materials that align their magnetic domains in the same direction while antiferromagnetism can be found in materials that align their magnetic domains in opposite directions. A magnetic domain or an atomic moment is a region where the magnetic fields of atoms are grouped and aligned together. Ferromagnetic materials have a net magnetic moment and are attracted to an external magnetic field. However, antiferromagnetic materials have a net magnetic moment of zero.