Lightening the load
Permanent magnets are generally produced from solid metals or alloys. Less dense compositions involving lighter elements tend to demagnetize well below room temperature or under modest applied external fields. Perlepe et al. now report that chemical reduction of a low-density chromium-pyrazine network produces a magnet that remains stable above 200°C and resists demagnetization with 7500-oersted coercivity at room temperature. The straightforward synthetic route to the material shows promise for broad exploration of potential applications.
Science, this issue p. 587
Magnets derived from inorganic materials (e.g., oxides, rare-earth–based, and intermetallic compounds) are key components of modern technological applications. Despite considerable success in a broad range of applications, these inorganic magnets suffer several drawbacks, including energetically expensive fabrication, limited availability of certain constituent elements, high density, and poor scope for chemical tunability. A promising design strategy for next-generation magnets relies on the versatile coordination chemistry of abundant metal ions and inexpensive organic ligands. Following this approach, we report the general, simple, and efficient synthesis of lightweight, molecule-based magnets by postsynthetic reduction of preassembled coordination networks that incorporate chromium metal ions and pyrazine building blocks. The resulting metal-organic ferrimagnets feature critical temperatures up to 242°C and a 7500-oersted room-temperature coercivity.