OPEN 2009
Niskayuna, New York
Project Term:
10/01/2010 - 09/30/2013

Technology Description:

General Electric (GE) Global Research is using nanomaterials technology to develop advanced magnets that contain fewer rare earth materials than their predecessors. Nanomaterials technology involves manipulating matter at the atomic or molecular scale, which can represent a stumbling block for magnets because it is difficult to create a finely grained magnet at that scale. GE is developing bulk magnets with finely tuned structures using iron-based mixtures that contain 80% less rare earth materials than traditional magnets, which will reduce their overall cost. These magnets will enable further commercialization of HEVs, EVs, and wind turbine generators while enhancing U.S. competitiveness in industries that heavily utilize these alternatives to rare earth minerals.

Potential Impact:

If successful, GE's design would bring to market advanced magnets that enable HEVs, EVs, and wind turbines to produce more power at less cost.


Over 99% of the world's rare earth elements are found outside the U.S. The geographical distribution of these resources puts the supply at risk and increases our dependence on foreign countries.


Advanced permanent magnet motors would enable the widespread adoption of HEVs and EVs, reducing nearly 2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.


Green energy technology, including wind turbines and EVs, is one of the fastest growing market sectors. Improved magnets will help maintain that rate of growth.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Ping Liu
Project Contact:
Dr. Francis Johnson
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:

Related Projects

Release Date: