The unusual combination of the bonding ability of gold and the magnetic nature of manganese is shown in a series of new ternary compounds. Explorations in new intermetallic chemistry led to the discovery of the new series of materials, comprised of gold, manganese, and a rare-earth metal element (either gadolinium or yttrium). The new materials exploit the properties of gold, known for its high electronegativity (ability to attract electrons), and manganese, an element known for its magnetic properties. The structures are characterized by waves of pure gold wrapping around mixed layers of manganese and gold. The rare-earth metal is interspersed and fills the rest of the space. Significantly, the type of rare earth present impacts the type of magnetism observed, with gadolinium compounds displaying different magnetic properties from the yttrium compound. A challenge for the future is to develop a microscopic theoretical explanation for these divergent properties.
Taking Advantage of Gold’s Electronegativity in R4Mn3-xAu10+x (R = Gd or Y; 0.2 ≤ x ≤ 1)