Professors Kai Liu and Gen Yin receive grants for sustainable magnet research

Profs. Kai Liu (left) and Gen Yin (right)

Rare-earth-free and precious-metal-free high anisotropy magnetic materials have critical applications as next generation magnetic recording media and high energy density permanent magnets. Areal density in magnetic recording media has enjoyed tremendous growth in recent decades. A key property that enables digital information to be stored in ever shrinking nanoscale magnets is the ability of the media to maintain its magnetization, known as the magnetic anisotropy. Traditional high magnetic anisotropy materials contain rare-earth elements, which are prone to price fluctuations and supply chain issues. Currently, certain alloys of FePt in a tetragonal phase are being pursued in heat-assisted magnetic recording media, but they contain precious metals.  It is critical to advance the magnetic recording technology using high anisotropy materials based on earth-abundant elements.

Profs. Kai Liu and Gen Yin have been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation on magnetic recording media studies using a high entropy route to achieve novel magnetic alloys. Such alloys contain multiple elements, with a high configurational entropy. Liu and Yin will use this approach to develop novel phases with high magnetic anisotropy towards magnetic recording media applications that cannot be achieved by conventional means.

Prof. Liu has received another grant from 5E Advanced Materials to explore Boron based materials for permanent magnet applications. Boron has historically played an important role in the development of high-performance permanent magnets. Liu’s group will investigate the use of boron in the design of new types of permanent magnets with earth-abundant elements.

See Georgetown College’s follow-up article on Prof. Liu’s sustainable magnet research.