3.5.3 Drivers and Barriers to Innovation
Nanocrystalline magnetic materials offer perhaps the nearest-term prospect of significant applications of bulk nanostructured materials. The enhancement of the remanence in two-phase hard/soft magnetic materials can result in excellent energy products - comparable to those from rapid solidification processing routes - in powder composites. The flexibility in manufacturing should provide many possible permanent magnet applications.
Nanocrystalline soft magnetic materials have the lowest energy losses of any material. While problems such as mechanical brittleness remain, these materials promise to replace existing transformer core materials for power applications.
In the context of nanomagnetic materials, the costs of materials, often related to the scale of production in Europe are barriers to innovation. Regarding follow-up research, a lack of focus on upscaling applications should be mentioned. In the case of molecular magnetic materials, the absence of venture capital willing to invest in longer term opportunities could be a knock-out criterion.
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