Scientists from University of Minnesota, US have discovered that chemical element ruthenium (Ru) is fourth element to have unique magnetic properties (ferromagnetism) at room temperature. So far only three periodic table elements Iron (Fe), Cobalt (Co), and Nickel (Ni) have been found to be ferromagnetic at room temperature.
Researchers showed that Ru can be fourth single element ferromagnetic material by using ultra-thin films to force ferromagnetic phase. It took them about two years to find right way to grow this material and validate it. The discovery will help to improve sensors, devices in computer memory and logic industry or other devices using magnetic materials. From an application perspective, Ru is interesting because it is resistant to oxidation and additional has high thermal stability – a vital requirement for scaling magnetic memories.
Ruthenium is chemical element with symbol Ru and atomic number 44. It is rare transition metal belonging to platinum group of periodic table. Like other metals of platinum group, it is inert to most other chemicals. It was discovered in 1844 by Russian-born scientist Karl Ernst. It named Ruthenium, after Latin name of Russia. Ruthenium is usually found as minor component of platinum ores. It is used in wear-resistant electrical contacts and thick-film resistors. Its minor application is in platinum alloys and as a chemistry catalyst.