Ultra-soft magnetic Co-Fe-B-Si-Nb amorphous alloys for high frequency power applications

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Ackland, Karl
Masood, Ansar
Kulkarni, Santosh
Stamenov, Plamen
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American Institute of Physics
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With the continuous shrinkage of the footprint of inductors and transformers in modern power supplies, higher flux, while still low-loss metallic replacements of traditional ferrite materials are becoming an intriguing alternative. One candidate replacement strategy is based on amorphous CoFeBSi soft-magnetic alloys, in their metallic glass form. Here the structural and magnetic properties of two different families of CoFeBSi-based soft magnetic alloys, prepared by arc-melting and subsequent melt spinning (rapid quenching) are presented, targeting potential applications at effective frequencies of 100 kHz and beyond. The nominal alloy compositions are Co67Fe4B11Si16Mo2 representing commercial Vitrovac and Co72-xFexB28-y (where B includes non-magnetic elements such as Boron, Silicon etc. x varies between 4 and 5 % and y is varied from 0 to 2 %) denoted Alloy #1 and prepared as a possible higher performance alternative, i.e. lower power loss and lower coercivity, to commercial Vitrovac. Room temperature magnetization measurements of the arc-melted alloys reveal that compared to Vitrovac, Alloy #1 already presents a ten-fold decrease in coercivity, with H-c similar to 1.4 Am-1 and highest figure of merit of (M-s/H-c > 96). Upon melt-spinning the alloys into thin (< 30 mu m) ribbons, the alloys are essentially amorphous when analyzed by XRD. Magnetization measurements of the melt-spun ribbons demonstrate that Alloy #1 possesses a coercivity of just 2 Am-1, which represents a significant improvement compared to melt-spun ribbons of Vitrovac (17 Am-1). A set of prototype transformers of approximately 10 turns of Alloy #1 ribbon exhibits systematically H-c < 10 Am-1 at 100 kHz, without a noticeable decrease in coupled flux and saturation. (C) 2018 Author(s).
Materials , Ferromagnetism , Metals , Diffraction optics , Condensed matter properties , Crystallography , Magnetism , Metallurgy , Light diffraction , Phase transitions
Ackland, K., Masood, A., Kulkarni, S. and Stamenov, P. (2018) 'Ultra-soft magnetic Co-Fe-B-Si-Nb amorphous alloys for high frequency power applications', AIP Advances, 8(5), 056129 (7pp). doi: 10.1063/1.5007707