General Motors and the University of Missouri’s use of neutron diffraction to determine the magnetic structure of a new permanent magnet material has led to the identification and understanding of the magnetic structure of Nd2Fe14B, which has since become widely used as a permanent magnet in electric motors.
Because of very favorable magnetic characteristics, combined with relatively low cost and low weight, this material has allowed for the development of more compact electric motors that find a wide range of applications.
This technology is found in electric windows in cars, in almost every computer hard drive, speakers and even roller coasters.
A crucial engineering challenge to making this car actually happen is the 53 kw "Generator". A great leap forward in technology will be made possible because of new magnet technologies used in permanent magnet motors [from GM website].
WORK SUPPORTED BY:
National Renewable Energy Laboratory, GE Energy, Evergreen Solar, Schott Solar, BP Solar.
Work performed at the University of Missouri Research Reactor.