Cerium a possible solution to the conventional NdFeB-based permanent magnets ?

The researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory have created a new lower-cost magnetic alloy that pretend to be an alternative to conventional NdFeB-based permanent magnets. The new alloy replaces dysprosium and instead uses cerium. Cerium is the most abundant rare-earth element in the Earth’s crust and occurs at an average concentration of 60 parts per million. Cerium is a major constituent in the light rare earth elements-mineral monazite which constitutes the second largest segment of rare-earth resources.

Previous attempts to use cerium in rare-earth magnets failed because it reduces the Curie temperature, but in these study the neodymium, iron and boron alloy is co-doped with cerium and cobalt. The materials are at least 20 to 40 percent cheaper than the dysprosium-containing magnets.

As reported in the paper, the Ce and Co co-doped alloys have excellent high-temperature magnetic properties with intrinsic coercivity being the highest known for temperature above 150 ˚C. From more details please see the paper: “Cerium: An Unlikely Replacement of Dysprosium in High Performance Nd-Fe-B Permanent Magnets”

 

References:

• Pathak, A. K., Khan, M., Gschneidner, K. A., McCallum, R. W., Zhou, L., Sun, K., Dennis, K. W., Zhou, C., Pinkerton, F. E., Kramer, M. J. and Pecharsky, V. K. (2015) “Cerium: An Unlikely Replacement of Dysprosium in High Performance Nd–Fe–B Permanent Magnets” Adv. Mater. 27: 2663–2667 doi: 10.1002/adma.201404892