|Posted: Jun 01, 2016|
Nanoparticles to replace rare-earth elements in permanent magnets(Nanowerk News) Technologies from wind turbines to electric vehicles rely on critical materials called rare-earth elements. These elements, though often abundant, can be difficult and increasingly costly to come by.
|Now, scientists looking for alternatives have reported in ACS' journal Chemistry of Materials ("Strongly exchange coupled core|shell nanoparticles with high magnetic anisotropy: a strategy towards Rare Earth -free permanent magnets") a new way to make nanoparticles that could replace some rare-earth materials and help ensure the continued supply of products people have come to depend on.|
|Rare-earth elements have unique characteristics that make them very useful. For example, the world's strongest magnets are made with neodymium. A little too powerful for your refrigerator, these magnets are incorporated into computer disk drives, power windows and wind turbines.|
|But rare earths are challenging to mine and process, and prices can rise quickly in a short period of time. Given the increasing demand for rare earths, Alberto López-Ortega, Claudio Sangregorio and colleagues set out to find substitutes for use in strong magnets.|
|The researchers used a mixed iron-cobalt oleate complex in a one-step synthetic approach to produce magnetic core-shell nanoparticles. The resulting materials showed strong magnetic properties and energy-storing capabilities.|
|Their approach could signal an efficient new strategy toward replacing rare earths in permanent magnets and keeping costs stable, the researchers say.|
|Source: American Chemical Society|
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