Manganese may be key to rare-earth free magnets
Rare earths elements are of high interest because they are key components of nearly every modern-day electronic device, from televisions to cell phones and computers to automobiles. They’re also key elements in magnets used in wind turbines.
Scientists from DOE’s Ames Laboratory will team with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on research to reduce dependence on critical materials like rare earths in wind turbines and electric vehicles by developing a new material based on manganese as a rare-earth free alternative to rare-earth permanent magnets. These manganese composite magnets hold the potential to double the magnetic strength relative to current magnets while using raw materials that are inexpensive and abundant.