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Nanoscale. 2013 Apr 7;5(7):2718-25. doi: 10.1039/c3nr33296a.

Novel microwave assisted chemical synthesis of Nd₂Fe₁₄B hard magnetic nanoparticles.

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School of Materials Science and Engineering, Division of Materials Science, Nanyang Technological University, 639 798, Singapore.


The high coercivity and excellent energy product of Nd2Fe14B hard magnets have led to a large number of high value added industrial applications. Chemical synthesis of Nd2Fe14B nanoparticles is challenging due to the large reduction potential of Nd(3+) and the high tendency for Nd2Fe14B oxidation. We report the novel synthesis of Nd2Fe14B nanoparticles by a microwave assisted combustion process. The process consisted of Nd-Fe-B mixed oxide preparation by microwave assisted combustion, followed by the reduction of the mixed oxide by CaH2. This combustion process is fast, energy efficient and offers facile elemental substitution. The coercivity of the resulting powders was ∼8.0 kOe and the saturation magnetization was ∼40 emu g(-1). After removal of CaO by washing, saturation magnetization increased and an energy product of 3.57 MGOe was obtained. A range of magnetic properties was obtained by varying the microwave power, reduction temperature and Nd to Fe ratio. A transition from soft to exchange coupled to hard magnetic properties was obtained by varying the composition of NdxFe1-xB8 (x varies from 7% to 40%). This synthesis procedure offers an inexpensive and facile platform to produce exchange coupled hard magnets.


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