Complete suppression of metastable phase and significant enhancement of magnetic properties of B-rich PrFeB nanocomposites prepared by devitrifying amorphous ribbons
The effect of refractory element addition on phase transformation, crystallization behavior and magnetic properties of Pr8.5Fe81.5B10 (addition-free) and Pr8.5Fe81.5M2B10 (M=V, Cr, Nb, Zr, Ti) ribbons has been investigated. The annealed addition-free ribbon as well as the samples with V or Cr additions are mainly composed of the metastable Pr2Fe23B3 phase, whereas annealed ribbons with Nb, Zr or Ti additions primarily consist of Pr2Fe14B and a minor amount of Fe3B/boride. The complete suppression of the metastable Pr2Fe23B3 phase due to Nb, Zr or Ti additions leads to a significant enhancement of the magnetic properties. For example, the remanence, the coercivity and the energy product are remarkably increased from 2.5 kG, 0.4 kOe and 0.2 MG Oe for the addition-free material to 9.2 kG, 4.7 kOe and 7.6 MG Oe for the specimens with Nb addition. The successful elimination of the metastable Pr2Fe23B3 phase is believed to profit from two factors: (a) Nb, Zr or Ti atoms substitute the Pr site, comparatively increase the Pr content, and thus inhibit the nucleation of Pr-lean Pr2Fe23B3 phases, and (b) the formation of Nb, Zr, or Ti borides consumes some part of B, which hinders the generation of the B-rich Pr2Fe23B3 phase.