When 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM Jan 30, 2009
Where 1670 CSE
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What the Heavy-Actinide Element Curium has Taught Us About Magnetism and the Crystal Structure of Metals


Kevin Moore, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

The atomic crystal structure of some metals is a result of the element's own intrinsic magnetism, meaning spin polarization of bonding electrons dictates atomic geometry. The actinide metal curium (Cm) was recently shown to have a crystal structure stabilized by magnetism (Heathmen et al., Science 2005). Using electron energy-loss spectroscopy in a transmission electron microscope and many-electron spectral simulations, we explain why this occurs.  We then use this understanding combined with density-functional theory to show why magnetic stabilization of metallic crystal structures occurs throughout the Periodic Table. Finally, we discuss what our results mean for engineering of magnetically-sensitive materials.