Intermetallics that contain rare-earth elements are particularly interesting because of their temperature-and pressure-dependent structural and physical transitions that make them potential candidates for magnetic applications. This article highlights synthetic routes and structural characterization advancements used to investigate intermetallic materials. Experimental and theoretical examples of three intermetallic structure types – ThCr2Si2, Heusler and Laves – are discussed to present a historical review and to illustrate the grand challenges in unravelling structure–property relationships of intermetallic compounds.
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