(i) Ferromagnetism: The substances that are strongly attracted by a magnetic field are called ferromagnetic substances. Ferromagnetic substances can be permanently magnetised even in the absence of a magnetic field. Some examples of ferromagnetic substances are iron, cobalt, nickel, gadolinium, and CrO2.
In solid state, the metal ions of ferromagnetic substances are grouped together into small regions called domains and each domain acts as a tiny magnet. In an un-magnetised piece of a ferromagnetic substance, the domains are randomly-oriented and so, their magnetic moments get cancelled. However, when the substance is placed in a magnetic field, all the domains get oriented in the direction of the magnetic field. As a result, a strong magnetic effect is produced. This ordering of domains persists even after the removal of the magnetic field. Thus, the ferromagnetic substance becomes a permanent magnet.
Schematic alignment of magnetic moments in ferromagnetic substances
(ii) Paramagnetism: The substances that are attracted by a magnetic field are called paramagnetic substances. Some examples of paramagnetic substances are O2, Cu2t, Fe3t, and Cr3t.
Paramagnetic substances get magnetised in a magnetic field in the same direction, but lose magnetism when the magnetic field is removed. To undergo paramagnetism, a substance must have one or more unpaired electrons. This is because the unpaired electrons are attracted by a magnetic field, thereby causing paramagnetism.
(iii) Ferrimagnetism: The substances in which the magnetic moments of the domains are aligned in parallel and anti-parallel directions, in unequal numbers, are said to have ferrimagnetism. Examples include Fe3O4 (magnetite), ferrites such as MgFe2O4 and ZnFe2O4.
Ferrimagnetic substances are weakly attracted by a magnetic field as compared to ferromagnetic substances. On heating, these substances become paramagnetic.
Schematic alignment of magnetic moments in ferrimagnetic substances
(iv) Antiferromagnetism: Antiferromagnetic substanceshave domain structures similar to ferromagnetic substances, but are oppositely-oriented. The oppositely-oriented domains cancel out each other’s magnetic moments.
Schematic alignment of magnetic moments in antiferromagnetic substances
(v) 12-16 and 13-15 group compounds: The 12-16 group compounds are prepared by combining group 12 and group 16 elements and the 13-15 group compounds are prepared by combining group 13 and group15 elements. These compounds are prepared to stimulate average valence of four as in Ge or Si. Indium (III) antimonide (IrSb), aluminium phosphide (AlP), and gallium arsenide (GaAS) are typical compounds of groups 13-15. GaAs semiconductors have a very fast response time and have revolutionised the designing of semiconductor devices. Examples of group 12-16 compounds include zinc sulphide (ZnS), cadmium sulphide (CdS), cadmium selenide (CdSe), and mercury (II) telluride (HgTe). The bonds in these compounds are not perfectly covalent. The ionic character of the bonds depends on the electronegativities of the two elements.