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Issue 27, 2018
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Magnetism of new metastable cobalt-nitride compounds

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The search for new magnetic materials with high magnetization and magnetocrystalline anisotropy is important for a wide range of applications including information and energy processing. There is only a limited number of naturally occurring magnetic compounds that are suitable. This situation stimulates an exploration of new phases that occur far from thermal-equilibrium conditions, but their stabilization is generally inhibited due to high positive formation energies. Here a nanocluster-deposition method has enabled the discovery of a set of new non-equilibrium Co–N intermetallic compounds. The experimental search was assisted by computational methods including adaptive-genetic-algorithm and electronic-structure calculations. Conventional wisdom is that the interstitial or substitutional solubility of N in Co is much lower than that in Fe and that N in Co in equilibrium alloys does not produce materials with significant magnetization and anisotropy. By contrast, our experiments identify new Co–N compounds with favorable magnetic properties including hexagonal Co3N nanoparticles with a high saturation magnetic polarization (Js = 1.28 T or 12.8 kG) and an appreciable uniaxial magnetocrystalline anisotropy (K1 = 1.01 MJ m−3 or 10.1 Mergs per cm3). This research provides a pathway for uncovering new magnetic compounds with computational efficiency beyond the existing materials database, which is significant for future technologies.

Graphical abstract: Magnetism of new metastable cobalt-nitride compounds

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Publication details

The article was received on 13 Mar 2018, accepted on 27 May 2018 and first published on 29 May 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8NR02105H
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018,10, 13011-13021

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    Magnetism of new metastable cobalt-nitride compounds

    B. Balasubramanian, X. Zhao, S. R. Valloppilly, S. Beniwal, R. Skomski, A. Sarella, Y. Jin, X. Li, X. Xu, H. Cao, H. Wang, A. Enders, C. Wang, K. Ho and D. J. Sellmyer, Nanoscale, 2018, 10, 13011
    DOI: 10.1039/C8NR02105H

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