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Ames Lab researchers see rare-earth-like magnetic properties in iron

Image Ames Laboratory scientists have observed magnetic properties typically associated with those observed in rare-earth elements in iron.  These properties are observed in a new iron based compound that does not contain rare earth elements, when the iron atom is positioned between two nitrogen atoms. The discovery opens the possibility of using iron to provide both the magnetism and permanence in high-strength permanent magnets, like those used in direct-drive wind turbines or electric motors in hybrid cars.

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