The effects of Nb addition on the microstructure, crystallisation behavior, and soft magnetic properties of Fe83.25−xP9C7Cu0.75Nbx (x = 0, 0.5, 1, 2, 3) alloys were investigated. The experimental results demonstrate that proper Nb addition improves the glass-forming ability and enhances the soft magnetic properties of this alloy system. The Fe82.75P9C7Cu0.75Nb0.5 alloy annealed at 573–773 K for 10 min, in which α-Fe nanocrystalline phase with diameter of 5–20 nm precipitated from the amorphous matrix, while alloy annealed at 743 K shows the best soft magnetic properties. The resulting Fe82.75P9C7Cu0.75Nb0.5 nanocrystalline alloy exhibited a high saturation magnetic flux density, Bs, of 1.66 T; a low coercivity, Hc, of 6.8 A/m; and a high effective permeability, μe, of 29,000 at 1 kHz. These characteristics are superior to corresponding properties of FePC alloys. These results indicate that this alloy is a promising soft magnetic material.
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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 51341002, by the Science and Technology Program of Beijing under Grant Z141100003814007, and by the National Scientific and Technological Support Projects under Grant 2013BAE08B01.