Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - 34

VISIONS

Breakthrough Magnet Produced from Thin Film of Cobalt and Carbon

A team of scientists, led by the University of Leeds in the
UK, made a breakthrough recently in a new advanced
material which may eventually be an alternative to rareearth-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 research team observed the increase in magnetic strength
at -195°C, but they hope by chemically manipulating the
carbon molecules, they will be able to get the same effect
at room temperature. The findings have been described
in the journal Physical Review B, published by the American Physical Society.
" This is the first indication I have seen that a rare-earthfree magnet could compare to something like samarium
cobalt, a rare-earth-based permanent magnet, " said
Timothy Moorson, co-principal investigator from Leeds'
School of Physics & Astronomy.

in the School of Physics & Astronomy at University of
Glasgow in Scotland.
Although carbon is not magnetic, the way the molecules
bond to the cobalt surface causes a magnetic pinning
effect, which prevents the magnetism in the cobalt from
changing direction, even in strong opposing fields.
This surface interaction is the key to the unusually high
magnetic energy of the hybrid material. While it may be a
long time before hybrid magnets are ready to be used in
wind turbines or electric cars, there are other applications
which are closer at hand.
" Although room temperature applications in bulk permanent magnetism may be a long way off, the use of molecular coupling to tune the magnetic properties of thin films,
such as for magnetic memories, is a tantalizing prospect
that is within easy reach, " notes Oscar Cespedes, coprincipal investigator. An associate professor at Leeds,
he is with the Condensed Matter Physics Group which
conducts research in areas including spintronics, magneto-organic structures and biomagnetism.

" While we have only seen this effect at low temperatures
thus far, I am hopeful that a hybrid magnetic material
similar to this will one day replace rare earth permanent
magnets, helping to mitigate the environmental damage
they cause, " said Moorsom, who is now a research fellow

34

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Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021

Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021
Editor’s Choice/ Features
eTrucks and eBuses with Permanent Magnet Powertrains Charge into Commercial Vehicle Market
Linear Labs Rolls Toward Production of Its Magnetic Flux Tunnel Motors
Protean Electric’s In-Wheel Motor Reaches for Traction in Global EV and Industrial Markets
Embedding Magnetics Achieves Reliability & Consistency, Part 3 of 3
Tech Tips
Research & Development
Product News
Industry News
Events Calendar/ Advertising Index
Visions
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - Cover2
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - 3
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - Editor’s Choice/ Features
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - 5
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - eTrucks and eBuses with Permanent Magnet Powertrains Charge into Commercial Vehicle Market
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - 7
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - 8
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - 9
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - Linear Labs Rolls Toward Production of Its Magnetic Flux Tunnel Motors
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - 11
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - Protean Electric’s In-Wheel Motor Reaches for Traction in Global EV and Industrial Markets
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - 13
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - 14
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - 15
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - Tech Tips
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - 17
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - Research & Development
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - 19
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - Product News
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - 21
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - 22
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - 23
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - 24
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - 25
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - Industry News
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - 27
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - 28
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - 29
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - 30
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - 31
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - Events Calendar/ Advertising Index
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - 33
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - Visions
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - Cover3
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2021 - Cover4
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