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Copper nickel magnetism

  1. Sep 21, 2005 #1
    why adding copper to nickel result in reduced magnetism of nickel? :confused:
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 21, 2005 #2


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    Ni is ferromagnetic. Cu is not. When Cu is added to Ni, they form an isomorphous substitutional alloy. Some of the Ni atoms are replaced by Cu atoms.

    To put it simpistically, the interaction between a Ni-atom and a Cu-atom is not a ferromagnetic interaction. For a ferromagnetic interaction between 2 atoms, you must have the right extent of orbital overlap - and this depends on the shape of the valence wavefunctions as well as the separation between atoms. In a substitutional alloy, you are not changing the interatomic spacing, but by changing the atoms, you are changing the valence orbital shapes/sizes. By making some of the near-neighbor interactions be paramagnetic instead of ferromagnetic, you are reducing the magnetization.
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