Differences between ferromagnetic, paramagnetic, and diamagnetic materials

Magnetic materials can be classified according to the magnetic properties due to the attraction field stimuli that the different materials have to various types of responses they give. These materials have the ability to attract or repel others.
Magnetic materials have different types of properties and structures depending on the type of magnetic material. There are two types of magnetic materials:

  • Soft materials: characterized by their ability to be easily magnetized and demagnetized.

  • Hard materials: characterized by their high resistance to demagnetization, so that, despite the removal of its magnetic field, it will not demagnetize.

Magnetic materials can be classified into diamagnetic, paramagnetic, ferromagnetic, antiferromagnetic, ferrimagnetic, supermagnetic and ferrite materials. However, the most commonly used are: ferromagnetism, paramagnetism, diamagnetism.


Ferromagnetism is a property possessed by some materials in which the electron spins, known as magnetic domain, are placed in parallel. In this case, the temperature affects it directly because it can alter the disorder if the temperature is increasing, all ferromagnetic materials have a characteristic temperature known as Curie temperature Tc.


Paramagnetism is the phenomenon that occurs when the molecules found in a substance have a stable magnetism. In the same way, it appears when materials become magnetized when they are in contact with an external magnetic field. This phenomenon appears when some electrons are not paired.

Properties of paramagnetic materials:

  • Unlike ferromagnetic materials, if the magnetic field disappears, the magnetic properties that the magnet has will disappear with it.

  • Their magnetization is weak and temporary. Moreover, ferromagnetic materials are magnetized in the same direction.

  • They have a magnetic permeability >1.


Diamagnetism is the property of some materials to repel magnetic fields.

Diamagnetism was discovered by Sebald Justinus Brugmans who devoted himself to study the elements of the periodic table, more specifically: bismuth and antimony. Soon after, he realized that these elements were mutually rejecting each other as a consequence of magnetic fields.

Diamagnetic materials must have the following characteristics:

- To have all the electrons paired

- To conserve a relative permeability greater than 1

- Possess a negative magnetic induction and susceptibility.

- Weak magnetization and in the opposite direction to the magnetic field.

Diamagnetic materials: water, helium, copper, gold, silicon, bronze.

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