What is it about?

Pyrrhotite is one of the most important minerals for carrying information about the magnetic field of Earth and other extraterrestrial bodies. Its magnetic properties is critically influenced by the arrangement of Fe vacancies and therefore also a testbed for understanding fundamental interactions in vacancy-controlled materials. In this study, we thermally treated a natural pyrrhotite crystal and studied the physical effects that give rise to its magnetic behavior in the various vacancy arrangements.

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Why is it important?

Understanding the physical interactions and effects of defects like vacancies is critical for engineering functional materials with improved properties. A binary system like pyrrhotite (Fe-S) is an ideal candidate for this as it is relatively simple chemically but still displays a rich and complex collection of magnetic interactions. Understanding the stability of different vacancy arrangements and their magnetic behavior is necessary for the reliable reconstruction of the magnetic field of Earth and extraterrestrial bodies.

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This page is a summary of: Anisotropy-induced spin disorder in intergrown, ferrimagnetic Fe7S8 polytypes, Applied Physics Letters, October 2022, American Institute of Physics, DOI: 10.1063/5.0111498.
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