A magnet when heated above its so-called Curie temperature becomes demagnetised. Recently a calcium compound, cab6, doped with lanthanum was reported to have a Curie temperature of about 600 C. Scientists at the University of Twente in The Netherlands suggest that the compound may not be a metal at all but rather a semiconductor. So far it has been difficult to merge semiconductors with magnetic materials. A semiconductor material that remains magnetic till a high enough temperature could be a boon to the engineers (Physical Review Letters , July 2).
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