Processes for Manufacturing High-Performance Magnetic Materials in Electronic Systems

The objective of this research is to develop new manufacturing processes for the magnetic components used in modern electronic systems. The goal is improve the manufacturability, performance, and energy efficiency of power supplies and communication devices, while simultaneously reducing their size and weight. A novel process is used to combine the properties of two different magnetic materials by embedding magnetic particles of one type of material inside of a second material. The result is a new, hybrid magnetic material that exhibits improved material properties compared to existing materials. In the long run, these new magnetic materials are aimed to enable next-generation mobile electronics, communication systems, robotics, and medical devices. The project will strengthen an industry/university research partnership between the University of Florida and Electron Energy Corporation via technical exchange and a graduate student summer internship. The project also aims to broaden participation and retention of female and minority students in STEM career fields.

Magnetic components used in modern electronic systems require compromising tradeoffs in size, power, and efficiency due to the lack of magnetic materials that simultaneously exhibit high saturation and low loss at MHz to GHz frequencies. To overcome this bottleneck a novel electro-infiltration process is proposed, wherein magnetic nanoparticles are consolidated onto a surface, and the inter-particle gaps are filled by an electroplated magnetic material. The result is a two-phase nanocomposite with potentially transformative magnetic properties, along with a disruptive manufacturing technology integrate these materials within a variety of electronic systems. From a scientific standpoint, the electro-infiltration process provides a unique platform to fabricate new nanocomposite architectures. This enables fundamental exploration of exchange-coupled or nanogranular soft magnetic cores, as well as hard (permanent) magnetic materials. The long-term impact of this work would be a scalable, end-to-end manufacturing process for compact magnetic device components with exceptional performance, low manufacturing cost, and integration with other electronic devices. The specific aims of this one-year EAGER proposal are to validate the feasibility of the process, while beginning to optimize micro/nanofabrication methods and elucidate structure/property/performance relationships for these new electro-infiltrated nanocomposite magnetic materials.

Project sponsor: 
Non-IMG Investigators: 
Jennifer Andrew
Research Assistants: 
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation
Start date: 
Monday, September 1, 2014
Project status: