A research group which included Professor Motohiro Suzuki of the Kwansei Gakuin University School of Engineering and Professor Satoshi Okamoto of the Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials at Tohoku University, in collaboration with the International Center for Synchrotron Radiation Innovation Smart at Tohoku University, the Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute (JASRI), and Daido Steel Co., Ltd., utilized the hard X-ray magnetic tomography (magnetic CT) method developed at the SPring-8 large synchrotron radiation facility to successfully visualize the three-dimensional behavior of magnetic domain structures inside advanced permanent magnet materials in relation to external magnetic fields, a world first.
Permanent magnets are indispensable materials for electric vehicle drive motors, air conditioner compressor motors, and wind power generation, among other applications, and further performance improvements are desired in order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The results of this research have made it possible to observe the interior of permanent magnet materials. This is expected to lead to breakthroughs regarding the mechanism of true coercive force, which is not affected by surface defects, and to the development of even higher-performance permanent magnets, which have been heretofore impossible.
The project's research results were published online in NPG Asia Materials, an open-access scientific journal published by Springer Nature, on August 19, 2022.