Based on a modified hydrogenation disproportionation desorption recombination (HDDR) process we propose and realize a novel top-down processing route to synthesize anisotropic nano-composite magnet powders. Selection of alloy compositions with Nd content lower than the stoichiometry of Nd2Fe14B phase led to the formation of spherical shaped nano-sized α-Fe phase within the Nd2Fe14B matrix after HDDR process. Next anisotropic nanocomposite Nd-Fe-B/α-Fe powders with substantial coercivity were developed with optimized HDDR conditions and subsequent grain boundary engineering which remedied the initial lack of Nd-rich intergranular phase. Specifically, the infiltration of Nd70Cu30 alloy increased the coercivity from 0.0 to 0.85 T. Note that low coercivity and the absence of texture in nanocomposite magnets have been the main challenges to realize the high (BH)max postulated for many years for anisotropic nanocomposite magnets. We employed micromagnetic simulations for optimum microstructure design of a nanocomposite Nd2Fe14B/α-Fe magnet that gives a large maximum energy product, (BH)max. The simulations are then correlated with macroscopic hysteresis properties and high-resolution electron microscopy as well as atom probe tomography. Another very remarkable result is the observation that the formation of α-Fe phase with a size up to 200 nm within the matrix of Nd2Fe14B grains can still result in a significant coercivity of 0.85 T. This is in contrast to common understanding of exchange-coupled systems and we explain this observation with sharp and defect free α-Fe/Nd2Fe14B interface, the latter a result of the disproportionation and recombination reactions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Ceramics and Composites
- Polymers and Plastics
- Metals and Alloys