Fe–Co–Cr nanocomposites for application in self-regulated rf heating

Fe–Co–Cr alloys have been developed with a Curie temperature,Tc, appropriate for ferrofluid cooling and self-regulated heating applications. These alloys have low Curie temperatures, moderate magnetic moments and provide increased heat capacity in a liquid used in a thermal cycle. Amorphous powders have been synthesized by cryo-SPEX milling melt-spun ribbons at 77 K. Transmission electron microscopy reveals cryomilled magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) with a mean diameter of 4.2 nm to form agglomerates ∼30 nm in size. Vibrating sample magnetometer and superconducting quantum interference device magnetometry of amorphous powders reveal a specific magnetization,σs, of 104 emu/g at 4 K in a 300 mT field and a Tc of 335 K. Nanoparticles were suspended in ferrofluids by ultrasonication with a Pluronic F127 surfactant to stabilize them in aqueous solution. Ferrofluids of varying MNP concentration were rf heated in a 27.2 mT field at 267 kHz. For 1.24 vol % of MNPs in the ferrofluid, a solution reached temperatures>50 °C in ∼70 s, and showed Curie-limiting temperature behavior at ∼75 °C. These results demonstrate self-limited heating of FeCoCr MNPs at 75 °C which may have application in polymer curing.