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L10-type (Space group P4/mmm) magnetic compounds, including FeNi and MnAl, possess promising technical magnetic properties of both high magnetization and large magnetocrystalline anisotropy energy, and thus offer potential in replacing rare earth permanent magnets in some applications.
In equiatomic Fe-Ni, the disorder-order transformation from fcc structure to the L10 structure is a diffusional transformation, but is inhibited by the low ordering temperature. The transformation could be enhanced through the creation of vacancies. Thus, mechanical alloying was employed to generate more open-volume defects. A decrease in grain size and concomitant increase in grain boundary area resulted from the mechanical alloying, while an initial increase in internal strain (manifested through an increase in dislocation density) was followed by a subsequent decrease with further alloying. However, a decrease in the net defect concentration was determined by Doppler broadening positron annihilation spectroscopy, as open volume defects utilized dislocations and grain boundaries as sinks.
An alloy, Fe32Ni52Zr3B13, formed an amorphous structure after rapid solidification, with a higher defect concentration than crystalline materials. Mechanical milling was utilized in an attempt to generate even more defects. However, it was observed that Fe32Ni52Zr3B13 underwent crystallization during the milling process, which appears to be related to enhanced vacancy-type defect concentrations allowing growth of pre-existing Fe(Ni) nuclei. The milling and enhanced vacancy concentration also de-stabilizes the glass, leading to decreased crystallization temperatures, and ultimately leading to complete crystallization.
In Mn-Al, the L10 structure forms from the parent hcp phase. However, this phase is slightly hyperstoichiometric relative to Mn, and the excess Mn occupies Al sites and couples antiparallel to the other Mn atoms. In this study, the Zr substituted preferentially for the Mn atoms in the Al layer, resulting in an increase in saturation magnetization, from 115 emu/g in the alloys without Zr to 128 emu/g in Mn53Al43C3Zr1. To further improve the coercivity in Mn53Al43C3Zr1, microstructure modification was achieved through the addition of excessive C and through surfactant-assisted mechanical milling. Enhancement in coercivity was accomplished through the microstructure modification, however, the loss of saturation magnetization was observed due to the formation of other equilibrium phases, including ε, β-Mn and ZrO.
Adviser: Jeffrey E. Shield