Rare Earth Permanent Magnet Innovation from the Critical Materials Innovation Hub

D.S. Parker
Oak Ridge National Laboratory,
United States

Keywords: permanent magnets, rare earths, clean energy


Rare Earth Permanent Magnet Innovation from the Critical Materials Innovation Hub Since 2013, the Department of Energy’s Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office has supported the Critical Materials Innovation Hub (CMI), which has a primary mission to “accelerate innovative scientific and technological solutions to develop resilient and secure supply chains for rare-earth metals and other materials critical to the success of clean energy technologies”. Among these activities have been the discovery and development of new permanent magnets to substitute for those used in the United States today, especially strong, anisotropic ones such as NdFeB and SmCo. Several of these magnets are now of sufficient maturity to be ready for demonstration and deployment efforts, with commercialization likely to soon follow, and are of interest for defense-related applications. These magnets include the following: • A Lanthanum-based competitor to NdFeB magnets, which shows in laboratory measurements energy products as high as 37 MG-Oe, with 25% less critical rare earth content than NdFeB magnets and, crucially, no Dysprosium [1]; • A Cerium-based competitor to SmCo magnets, at substantially reduced Cobalt content, with energy products of 20 MG-Oe, comparable temperature dependence, and no critical rare earth content [2,3]; and • A magnet based on the known potential high-performance magnet Sm2Fe17N3 for which CMI has developed a unique low-temperature sintering capability, yielding magnets at laboratory scale with energy products exceeding 20 MG-Oe at nearly full density [4]. Finally, I will discuss licensing for these new magnet technologies for demonstration, deployment and ultimate entry into the marketplace. References 1. D. S. Parker et al, “Reduced critical rare earth high temperature magnet”, U.S. Patent Application 17468913, published March 10, 2022. 2. A. Palasyuk et al, “Permanent Magnet Alloys for Gap Magnets”, U.S. Patent 11,649,537 B2, issued May 16, 2023. 3. T.N. Lamichhane et al, "Single-Crystal Permanent Magnets: Extraordinary Magnetic Behavior in the Ta-, Cu-, and Fe-Substituted CeCo5 Systems." Phys. Rev. Appl. 11, 014052 (2019). 4. I. Hlova et al, “Synthesis of Sm2Fe17N3 Powders with Enhanced BHmax”, under editorial review. Speaker Biography: David Parker is Distinguished Staff Scientist and Group Leader for Materials Theory at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and serves as Lead for the “Developing Substitutes” Focus Area of the DOE AMMTO-funded Critical Materials Innovation Hub. He joined Oak Ridge in 2010 following postdoctoral work at the Naval Research Laboratory and obtained his Ph.D. in Physics from the Univ. of Southern California in 2006. He applies first principles methods to some of the most difficult materials sciences challenges facing the Nation today, including in particular new permanent magnets.