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2Flux growth and characterization of Ce-substituted Nd2Fe14B single crystals

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Single crystals of (Nd1−xCex)2Fe14B, some reaching ∼6×8×8mm3 in volume, are grown out of Fe-(Nd, Ce) flux. This crystal growth method allows for large (Nd1−xCex)2Fe14B single crystals to be synthesized using a simple flux growth procedure. Chemical and structural analyses of the crystals indicate that (Nd1−xCex)2Fe14B forms a solid solution until at least x=0.38 with a Vegard-like variation of the lattice constants with x. Refinements of single crystal neutron diffraction data indicate that Ce has a slight site preference (7:3) for the 4g rare earth site over the 4f site. Magnetization measurements at 300 K show only small decreases with increasing Ce content in saturation magnetization (Ms) and anisotropy field (HA), and Curie temperature (TC). First principles calculations are carried out to understand the effect of Ce substitution on the electronic and magnetic properties. For a multitude of applications, it is expected that the advantage of incorporating lower-cost and more abundant Ce will outweigh the small adverse effects on magnetic properties. Ce-substituted Nd2Fe14B is therefore a potential high-performance permanent magnet material with substantially reduced Nd content.

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