PhD Studentship: Thermal Effects in Nano-Structured Magnetic Structures

University of Exeter - College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences

In two-phase permanent magnets (Balamurugan et al. 2012) the presence of a soft magnetic phase improves the thermal stability of the remanent magnetization and increases the energy product (Bance, et al. APL 2014, Hrkac, et al. Scripta 2014). Nano-structuring provides a strong enough exchange coupling between the different phases so that coercive field is sufficiently high, in order to achieve energy products of 400 kJ/m3 at 450 K. A major problem is to find suitable structural stable binary or ternary systems to achieve this goal.

A high magnetization at elevated temperature may be achieved in magnets based on (Nd, Sm)Fe12Nx. A key issue of the 1:12 phase is its structural stability. We will use ab initio and molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the phase stability of RE(Fe,X)12, whereby RE stands for rare earth elements and  X for  Ti, V, and Cr.  The results will be supported by our industrial partner Toyota and the Frauenhofer Institute in Darmstadt and will include on-site visits in Germany and Japan.

The aim is to show that the ternary elements stabilize the structure by reducing the cohesive energy and therefore can provide a real contender for thermally stable high performance magnets for automotive and energy harnessing applications.

The project is part of the EPSRC project EP/P02047X/1.

You should have or expect to achieve at least a 2:1 Honours degree, or equivalent, in Engineering, Physics, Mathematics, Natural Sciences or other numerate discipline.

Experience in programming (MatLab, Python, C, C++) as well as with Lammps, GULP, VASP or QuantumEspresso is desirable.

This award provides annual funding to cover UK/EU tuition fees and a tax-free stipend.  For students who pay UK/EU tuition fees the award will cover the tuition fees in full, plus at least £14,553 per year tax-free stipend.

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