Magnetostrictive Materials for Enhanced Sensors and Electronic Components

Scott McCall | 20-ERD-059

Project Overview

Magnetostriction is a property of magnetic materials that causes them to change their shape or dimensions proportional to their magnetization. Low-cost, mechanically robust magnetostrictive sensors would be valuable for a wide range of applications across the DOE and national security mission space, such as monitoring the internal conditions of pipelines, rapidly detecting high-impedance faults in power lines (e.g. trees touching power lines), or enhancing implantable systems for the human body. 

Dilute doping (<1 atomic %) of rare earth elements (REE) has been shown to amplify the magnetostriction.  Furthermore, alloy processing by rapid cooling from high temperature tends to result in texturing and therefore greater magnetostriction values, which bodes well for developing advanced manufacturing approaches significantly less expensive than single crystal growth. The goal of this effort was to develop robust, low-cost magnetostrictive materials compatible with advanced manufacturing techniques to exploit the rapid cooling of these approaches while retaining the ability to produce fully dense structures. 

Employing a small scale laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF) system, specimens of Iron-Gallium-Cerium (Fe-Ga-Ce) were build from alloy powder which had a magnetostriction of 289 parts per million (ppm) along the build direction and 197 ppm perpendicular to the build direction. These values are not far from the 310-350 ppm observed in single crystals of Fe-Ga. The results of the series of samples run suggest this is a very promising route for REE doping to higher levels, especially if the powders can be produced using far from equilibrium approaches such as ultrasonic atomization. The promising results from applying additive manufacturing techniques to these materials, particularly the inexpensive Iron-Aluminum (Fe-Al) system, has potential for inexpensive high-performing magnetostrictive parts producible at large scales for low-cost sensors.

Mission Impact

This effort enhances the Laboratory's Core Competency in Advanced Materials and Manufacturing. Furthermore, a cost-effective magnetostrictive material is an enabling technology for numerous applications across the Laboratory's mission areas. For instance, magnetostrictive foils attached to suitable sensing materials could be the basis for integrating chemical sensors for passively monitoring low levels of nuclear materials over long time periods in support of nuclear threat reduction. Magnetostrictive sensors have aerospace applications (e.g., embedded strain sensors for airfoils) that support multi-domain deterrence. Magnetostrictive sensors could also be used to detect and automatically respond to energy grid failures, including hard-to-detect high-impedance faults, thus supporting energy security and climate resilience.

Publications, Presentations, and Patents

Amon, A et al (2023). "Influence of atomic ordering and cerium doping on magnetostrictive Fe-Al alloys." J Mag Magn. Mat. 586 171214 (2023)  LLNL-JRNL-845112&nbsp;

Islam, M.T. et al (2023). "Structural and Magnetic Properties of Magnetostrictive Fe-Ga-Zr Nanocrystalline Alloy." J All Comp 958 170541 (2023) DOI:10.1016/j.jallcom.2023.170541. 

Baker, A.A. et al (2023). "Enhanced Magnetostriction Through Dilute Ce Doping of Fe-Ga." Phys. Rev. Mat. 7 014406 (2023) DOI:10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.7.014406

Perrin A.E. et al (2021). "Understanding Magnetic Exchange Interactions by the Pressure Dependent Curie Temperature in FeCoNiCuMn High Entropy Alloys." J Phas Equil Diff 42 617 (2021). DOI:10.1007/s11669-021-00920-x.

McCall, S. et al. 2021. "Advances in Processing, Manufacturing, and Applications of Magnetic Materials." JOM 73 3883 (2021) DOI: LLNL-JRNL-827400

A.A. Baker, et al., "Mechanochemical Synthesis of Magnetostrictive FeGa" (Presentation, TMS 2023 Sandy Eggo, CA, week of March 20, 2023). LLNL-PRES-846379

J. K. Jaklich, et al., "Optimizing Magnetostriction Coefficients in (FeGa)B Nanocrystalline Alloys" (Presentation, MS&T 2022 Pittsburgh, PA, Oct 9-12 2022).  LLNL-PRES-847222

Alex Baker,"Enhanced Magnetostriction in Galfenol Through Dilute Ce-Doping" (Presentation, 15th Joint MMM-Intermag Conference, New Orleans, LA, Jan 10-14 2022. LLNL-PRES-829634

Tauhid Islam,"Optimizing Magnetostriction in Fe-Ga-Zr Nanocrystalline Alloys" (Presentation, 15th Joint MMM-Intermag Conference, New Orleans, LA, Jan 10-14 2022). LLNL-PRES-840578.

Alfred Amon, "Enhanced Magnetostriction in Galfenol Through Dilute Ce Doping" (Presentation, TMS 2022 Annual Meeting, Anaheim, CA, Feb 27-March 3, 2022). LLNL-PRES-832107

Emily Moore, "Phase Stability of Fe-Ga-Ce-Zr Alloys" (Presentation, TMS 2022 Annual Meeting, Anaheim, CA, Feb 27-March 3, 2022). LLNL-PRES-832090

M.T. Islam, "Structure and Magnetic Properties of Galfenol Nanocomposite Alloys" (Presentation, TMS 2022 Annual Meeting, Anaheim, CA, Feb 27-March 3, 2022).

Matthew Willard,"Challenges for Magnetic Materials in Vehicle Electrification" (Presentation, Materials Science Division Seminar, Livermore, CA, March 4, 2022).