We observed the magnetization reversals of exchange-coupled and exchange-decoupled Nd-Fe-B sintered magnets with coercivities of 1.16 and 1.80 T, respectively, by magneto-optical Kerr effect (MOKE) microscopy. The cascade propagation of reversed magnetic domain throughout multiple grains was observed in the standard sintered magnet, in which Nd2Fe14B grains are believed to be exchange-coupled through ferromagnetic grain boundary phase. In the exchange-decoupled Nd-rich Ga-doped sintered magnet, the magnetization reversal is suppressed by thick nonmagnetic grain boundary phase. The EBSD revealed 11° misalignment of 2:14:1 grains in the standard sintered magnet, while higher misalignment of 18° was found in the exchange-decoupled Nd-rich Ga-doped magnet. Micromagnetic simulations incorporating such microstructural features reproduced experimentally observed demagnetization curves fairly well including the enhancement of the coercivity and the deterioration of the squareness in the exchange decoupled sintered magnet.
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