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  In physics, a ferrimagnetic material is one in which the magnetic moment of the atoms on different sublattices are opposed, as in antiferromagnetism; however, in ferrimagnetic materials, the opposing moments are unequal and a spontaneous magnetization remains. This happens when the sublattices consist of different materials or ions (such as Fe2+ and Fe3+).

Ferrimagnetic materials are like ferromagnets in that they hold a spontaneous magnetization below the Curie temperature, and show no magnetic order (are paramagnetic) above this temperature. However, there is sometimes a temperature below the Curie temperature at which the two sublattices have equal moments, resulting in a net magnetic moment of zero; this is called the magnetization compensation point. This compensation point is observed easily in garnets and rare earth - transition metal alloys (RE-TM). Furthermore, ferrimagnets may also exhibit an angular momentum compensation point at which the angular momentum of the magnetic sublattices is compensated. This compensation point is a crucial point for achieving high speed magnetization reversal in magnetic memory devices*.

Ferrimagnetism is exhibited by ferrites and magnetic garnets. The oldest-known magnetic substance, magnetite (iron(II,III) oxide; Fe3O4), is a ferrimagnet; it was originally classified as a ferromagnet before Néel's discovery of ferrimagnetism and antiferromagnetism.

Some ferrimagnetic materials are YIG (yttrium iron garnet) and ferrites composed of iron oxides and other elements such as aluminum, cobalt, nickel, manganese and zinc.


Ferrimagnetic materials have high resistivity and have anisotropic properties. The anisotropy is actually induced by an external applied field. When this applied field aligns with the magnetic dipoles it causes a net magnetic dipole moment and causes the magnetic dipoles to precess at a frequency controlled by the applied field called Larmor or precession frequency. A microwave signal circularly polarized in the same direction as this precession strongly interacts with the magnetic dipole moments; when it is in opposite direction the interaction is very low. When the interaction is strong the microwave signal can pass through the material. This directional property is used in the construction of microwave devices like isolators, circulators and gyrators.


  • C. D. Stanciu, A. V. Kimel, F. Hansteen, A. Tsukamoto, A. Itoh, A. Kirilyuk, and Th. Rasing, Ultrafast spin dynamics across compensation points in ferrimagnetic GdFeCo: The role of angular momentum compensation, Phys. Rev. B 73, 220402(R) (2006).
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ferrimagnetism". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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