The microstructure of newly developed hard magnetic Fe42Ni41.3SixB12-xP4Cu0.7 (x = 2 to 8 at%) nanocrystalline alloy ribbons has been studied by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and electron diffraction. A high-density polycrystalline grains, ∼30 nm in size, were formed in a ribbon after annealing at 673 K for 288 hours. Elemental mapping of the annealed specimen revealed the coexistence of three regions, Fe-rich, Ni-rich, and nearly equiatomic Fe-Ni, with areal fractions of 37%, 40%, and 23 %, respectively. The equiatomic L10-type ordered phase of FeNi was detected in between the Fe and Ni-rich phases. The presence of superlattice reflections in nanobeam electron diffraction patterns confirmed the formation of the hard magnetic L10 phase beyond any doubt. The L10 phase of FeNi was detected in alloys annealed in the temperature range of 673 to 813 K. The present results suggest that the order-disorder transition temperature of L10 FeNi is higher than the previously reported value (593 K). The high diffusion rates of the constituent elements induced by the crystallization of an amorphous phase at relatively low temperature (∼673K) are responsible for the development of atomic ordering in FeNi.
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