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J Phys Condens Matter. 2014 Feb 12;26(6):064208.

High-throughput search for new permanent magnet materials.

Abstract

The currently highest-performance Fe-Nd-B magnets show limited cost-effectiveness and lifetime due to their rare-earth (RE) content. The demand for novel hard magnetic phases with more widely available RE metals, reduced RE content or, even better, completely free of RE metals is therefore tremendous. The chances are that such materials still exist given the large number of as yet unexplored alloy systems. To discover such phases, an elaborate concept is necessary which can restrict and prioritize the search field while making use of efficient synthesis and analysis methods. It is shown that an efficient synthesis of new phases using heterogeneous non-equilibrium diffusion couples and reaction sintering is possible. Quantitative microstructure analysis of the domain pattern of the hard magnetic phases can be used to estimate the intrinsic magnetic parameters (saturation polarization from the domain contrast, anisotropy constant from the domain width, Curie temperature from the temperature dependence of the domain contrast). The probability of detecting TM-rich phases for a given system is high, therefore the approach enables one to scan through even higher component systems with one single sample. The visualization of newly occurring hard magnetic phases via their typical domain structure and the correlation existing between domain structure and intrinsic magnetic properties allows an evaluation of the industrial relevance of these novel phases.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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