Walker, Laurence R. Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, New Jersey.
Last reviewed:January 2020
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A specific type of ordering in a system of magnetic moments or the magnetic behavior resulting from such order. In some magnetic materials the magnetic ions in a crystal unit cell may differ in their magnetic properties. This is clearly so when some of the ions are of different species. It is also true for similar ions occupying crystallographically inequivalent sites. Such ions differ in their interactions with other ions, because the dominant exchange interaction is mediated by the neighboring nonmagnetic ions. They also experience different crystal electric fields, and these affect the magnetic anisotropy of the ion. A collection of all the magnetic sites in a crystal with identical behavior is referred to as a magnetic sublattice. A material is said to exhibit ferrimagnetic order when, first, all moments on a given sublattice point in a single direction and, second, the resultant moments of the sublattices lie parallel or antiparallel to one another. The notion of such an order is due to L. Néel, who showed in 1948 that its existence would explain many of the properties of the magnetic ferrites. See also: Ferrite; Ferromagnetism
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