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Magnetic semiconductors are attracting great interest because of their potential use for spintronics, a new technology that merges electronics with the manipulation of conduction electron spins. (GaMn)As and (GaMn)N have recently emerged as the most popular materials for this new technology, and although their Curie temperatures are rising towards room temperature, these materials can only be fabricated in thin-film form, are heavily defective, and are not obviously compatible with Si. We show here that it is productive to consider transition metal monosilicides as potential alternatives. In particular, we report the discovery that the bulk metallic magnets derived from doping the narrow-gap insulator FeSi with Co share the very high anomalous Hall conductance of (GaMn)As, while displaying Curie temperatures as high as 53 K. Our work opens up a new arena for spintronics, involving a bulk material based only on transition metals and Si, which displays large magnetic-field effects on its electrical properties.

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Nature Materials

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