North­eastern Uni­ver­sity researchers have designed a super-​​strong mag­netic mate­rial that may rev­o­lu­tionize the pro­duc­tion of mag­nets found in com­puters, mobile phones, elec­tric cars and wind-​​powered generators.

The research was sup­ported by a three-​​year, $360,000 grant from the National Sci­ence Foun­da­tion. The find­ings — which dove­tail with Northeastern’s focus on use-​​inspired research that solves global chal­lenges in health, secu­rity and sus­tain­ability — will be pub­lished in an upcoming edi­tion of the journal Applied Physics Letters.

“State- ​​of-​​the-​​art elec­tric motors and gen­er­a­tors con­tain highly coer­cive mag­nets that are based on rare-​​earth ele­ments, but we have devel­oped a new mate­rial with sim­ilar prop­er­ties without those exotic ele­ments,” said coau­thor Don Heiman, a physics pro­fessor in the Col­lege of Sci­ence.

Heiman’s work aligns with Northeastern’s existing exper­tise in this area. The university’s Center for Microwave Mag­netic Mate­rials and Inte­grated Cir­cuits, for example, works to develop next-​​generation microwave mate­rials and device solu­tions for radar and wire­less com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nolo­gies for U.S. defense and com­mer­cial industries.

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