Remanence Increase in SrFe 12 O 19 /Fe Exchange-Decoupled Hard-Soft Composite Magnets Owing to Dipolar Interactions
In the search for improved permanent magnets, fueled by the geostrategic and environmental issues associated with rare-earth-based magnets, magnetically hard (high anisotropy)-soft (high magnetization) composite magnets hold promise as alternative magnets that could replace modern permanent magnets, such as rare-earth-based and ceramic magnets, in certain applications. However, so far, the magnetic properties reported for hard-soft composites have been underwhelming. Here, an attempt to further understand the correlation between magnetic and microstructural properties in strontium ferrite-based composites, hard SrFe 12 O 19 (SFO) ceramics with different contents of Fe particles as soft phase, both in powder and in dense injection molded magnets, is presented. In addition, the influence of soft phase particle dimension, in the nano- and micron-sized regimes, on these properties is studied. While Fe and SFO are not exchange-coupled in our magnets, a remanence that is higher than expected is measured. In fact, in composite injection molded anisotropic (magnetically oriented) magnets, remanence is improved by 2.4% with respect to a pure ferrite identical magnet. The analysis of the experimental results in combination with micromagnetic simulations allows us to establish that the type of interaction between hard and soft phases is of a dipolar nature, and is responsible for the alignment of a fraction of the soft spins with the magnetization of the hard. The mechanism unraveled in this work has implications for the development of novel hard-soft permanent magnets.