Pyrite , iron disulfide, is known as fool’s gold. Pyrite’s problem with treasure hunters is that it shines like a luster even more golden than real gold. That Phoenician glow is the one that has caught many adventurers and seekers. That is why they call pyrite the "fool’s gold".
Now pyrite could be more valuable than we thought: it is the first time that a group of researchers has managed to electrically transform a completely non-magnetic material into a magnetic one .
Find useful for computing
Iron sulfide offered the possibility of electrically inducing ferromagnetism in a completely non-magnetic material. The finding could be the first step in creating valuable new magnetic materials for more energy-efficient computer memory devices.
In the study, the researchers used a technique called electrolyte activation . They took the non-magnetic iron sulfide material and put it in a device in contact with an ionic or electrolyte solution, comparable to Gatorade. They then applied as little as 1 volt (less voltage than a household battery), moved positively charged molecules to the interface between electrolyte and iron sulfide, and induced magnetism.
As Chris Leighton explains. The study’s principal investigator and professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota, lead author of this finding:
Most people with knowledge of magnetism would probably say that it was impossible to electrically transform a non-magnetic material into a magnetic one. However, when we looked a little deeper, we saw a potential route and made it happen.
What’s interesting is also that they were able to turn off the voltage and return the material to its non-magnetic state, which means that they can reversibly turn magnetism on and off.