Super Magnet: New molecule is the strongest known magnet

The »super magnets« have competition: an unusual bond between rare earths makes a newly created molecule three times more magnetic than the strongest magnetic substance known to date. A working group led by Colin A. Gould from the University of California at Berkeley constructed a class of substances with two atoms of a rare earth element such as dysprosium or terbium, between which three iodine atoms are arranged in a triangle. As the team reports in Science, the two metal atoms are also linked by a direct bond that goes right through the center of the iodine triangle. According to the team, this bond is not only responsible for the extremely strong magnetism, but also the first direct bond between two rare earths in a molecule.

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