BCMaterials Fortnightly Seminar #68: Andrés Martín & Cristina Echevarría

BCMaterials Fortnightly Seminar #68: Andrés Martín & Cristina Echevarría



Nitrogenation of (ZrNd)Fe10Si2 alloys with ThMn12 structure

Tetragonal R(Fe,M)12 compounds (R = rare earth), with the ThMn12 structure, have gained again interest as permanent magnet materials with reduced R content, because of the critical supply of the raw rare-earth materials occurred in recent years. However, some stability issues have to be overcome first. Addition of Zr in substitution of Nd helps to stabilize the ThMn12 phase in the NdFe10Si2 alloy. While other stabilizing elements (Ti, V, Mo…) have a preference for the occupation of the 8i site in the structure, Si has a preference for the 8j and 8f sites, leaving the 8i site, which is the site with the largest moment for the ThMn12 structure, occupied by Fe, so the RFe10Si2 shows higher saturation magnetization and Curie temperature than other substituted analogue. It is known that nitrogenation of ThMn12 type of alloys, being N in the interstitial 2i sites of the structure) give rise to an enhancement of the Curie temperature and of the anisotropy field. Here we report for the first time the successful nitrogenation of a (ZrNd)Fe10Si2 alloy. The nitrogenation of a Si based alloy is a promising result for the development of bonded magnets due to the high saturation magnetisation of the parent alloy and the high Curie temperature and anisotropy field that can be reached after nitrogenation.



Synthesis of Fe-Sn metastable phases by non-standard techniques, for permanent magnets applications

The permanent magnets (PM) industry has an extreme dependence on rare earth (RE) elements that were identified by the latest European report as critical raw materials (CRM) [1]. Recently, interest has risen for the development of RE-free PM.  One of the materials considered is Fe3Sn which has a hexagonal structure but with planar anisotropy which must be changed to uniaxial for the development of PM. This compound has absolutely no RE elements and its constituents are cheap and abundant. However, the hexagonal phase of Fe3Sn (spatial group P63/mmc) is only stable in the temperature range 750-880ºC [2]. Thus, this metastable phase cannot be achieved by standard methods. Instead, it has been reported that such a compound can be obtained by solid state reaction (SSR) [3,4] or mechanical alloying (MA) [5], though in the latter case, a non-negligible percentage of Fe-bcc was still present after MA and the subsequent crystallization process, observed by Mössbauer spectroscopy [5]. Very few reports on the magnetic properties are available in literature [6].

Several Fe-Sn alloys have been synthesized by SSR, using the following procedure. First, stoichiometric amounts of the starting elements were hand-milled and then compacted into pellets using up to 10 tons at RT. Pellets were encapsulated in a quartz ampoule and heated to 800ºC for 48 hours in vacuum. This process was repeated twice in order to homogenize the composition in our sample. Structural characterization by means of XRD and SEM confirmed the purity and crystallinity of the sample, obtaining nearly a 100% of hexagonal Fe3Sn. 57 Fe Mössbauer spectra showed a single Fe-site of the hexagonal Fe3Sn with a close to zero quadrupole splitting and hyperfine field Bhf = 25T, with no trace of bcc Fe (Bhf = 33T), confirming the purity of the sample. Magnetic characterization was completed by M(H) and M(T).


  1. EU 2014 Report on Critical raw materials.
  2. K. von Goldbeck, IRON Binary Phase Diagrams (Springer), 139 (1982).
  3. C. Sales et al., Sci. Rep. 4, 7024 (2014).
  4. Giefers and M. Nicol, J. Alloys Compd. 422, 132 (2006).
  5. Bansal et al., J. Appl. Phys. 76 (10), 5961 (1994).
  6. Djéga-Mariadassou et al., Il Nuovo Cimento 46B, 35 (1966).

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Date(s) - 31/05/2017
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

BCMaterials Office
Bizkaia Science and Technology Park
Building 500, 1st. Floor
48160 Derio

43.29637972841698, -2.866330048257396

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