Scientists have made a breakthrough in the search for a new, sustainable permanent magnet.
Most permanent magnets are made from alloys of rare earth metals—but the mining and processing of these materials produces toxic by-products, leading to ecological challenges around rare-earth mines and refineries. At the same time, demand for permanent magnets is increasing as they are a common component in renewable energy, consumer electronics and electric-powered vehicles.
A team of scientists, led by the University of Leeds, has made a breakthrough in a new advanced material which may eventually replace rare-earth-based permanent magnets. The researchers have developed a hybrid film from a thin layer of cobalt, which is naturally magnetic, covered with molecules of Buckminsterfullerene, a form of carbon.
The presence of the carbon dramatically boosted cobalt's magnetic energy product, a measure of the strength of a magnet, by five times at low temperatures.
The findings have been published in Physical Review B.To read more, click here.