Iron Nitride – The Biggest News in Magnets in 40 Years
The Niron story starts in 2002 at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Jian-Ping Wang, a leading physicist and material scientist in the field of magnetics, and his small army of Ph.D. students began untangling the mysteries of this material. After eight years of fundamental research with the collaboration of research scientists at four US Department of Energy (DoE) national research facilities (Oak Ridge, Argonne, Brookhaven, and Los Alamos), the team was awarded a project to develop a permanent magnet based on Iron Nitride, which offers the best characteristics of neodymium without the supply chain drama, at a price point between ferrite and neodymium (neo).
Spun off from the University of Minnesota in 2014, Niron Magnetics now operates in a dedicated industrial lab facility and has been funded with $34 million to date. Combining breakthroughs in nanomaterials with mature metallurgical methods, they are leading the commercialization of Iron Nitride.