Niron is developing innovative advanced magnetic materials for high performance, low cost permanent magnets.

About Us

Permanent magnets play a vital, hidden role in modern technologies. Common devices that we use daily, such as computers, appliances, and automobiles are powered by permanent-magnet motors that convert electricity to motion. In the production of electricity, permanent magnets are found at the heart of generators.

Despite their ubiquity, however, magnets themselves have not kept pace with demands of higher performance, lighter weight machines. In fact, it has been more than 30 years since the last new magnetic material (NdFeB) became commercially available. As hybrid and electric vehicles fill the streets, and wind power generation continues to be one of the fastest growing means of producing electricity, the demand for increased efficiency needs to be met with innovative new magnetic materials.

Niron Magnetics is developing the world’s first advanced manufacturing process for the mass production of permanent magnets powered by our breakthrough material formulation. Niron’s proprietary Iron nitride magnets possess inherently higher magnetization and can be produced at a lower cost compared to today’s rare-earth magnets, and will enable a revolution in the design of new electric motors and generators.

Niron was founded in 2014 as a spinout of University of Minnesota and is based on technology that has received the support of ARPA-E, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Department of Energy Office of Basic Energy Sciences.

Iron Nitride (Fe16N2)

Our Technology

Niron Magnetics is developing the world’s first commercial, bulk Iron Nitride (Fe16N2) permanent magnets. Using a patented, scalable process, Niron will produce high powered magnets using commonly available iron and nitrogen raw materials. Our synthesis process is made up of well understood, mature metallurgical methods such as arc melting, melt spinning, and nitriding (all commonly used for steel processing). Building off more than a decade of scientific research and development, Niron has developed advanced manufacturing techniques to precisely control and manipulate the crystal structure of Iron Nitride to obtain highly anisotropic magnets. Development of these scalable manufacturing methods has resulted in the publication of more than 20 peer-reviewed scientific papers, as well as 17 granted and 35 pending patents. Niron’s Iron Nitride magnets have a higher magnetic flux density than conventional Ferrite and NdFeB-based magnets, enabling size and weight reduction in motors without compromising power or torque. Additionally, with the 60% higher magnetic flux density compared to NdFeB magnets, Iron Nitride unlocks new possibilities in power generation and conversion.

Our Team

Andy Blackburn


Jiang-Ping Wang, PhD

Cofounder and CSO

John Larson, PhD


Frank Johnson, PhD


Yiming Wu, PhD

Director of R&D

Xiaowei Zhang, PhD

Principal Engineer

Fan Zhang, PhD

Senior Development Engineer

Rich Greger

Process Development Engineer

Krina Damien, PhD

Principal Chemist

Blake Wolf

Materials Engineer

Chad Carda

Equipment and Facilities Manager

Scott Goodnough

Senior Laboratory Technician

Greg Waldorf

Laboratory Technician

Technical Advisory Board

Matthew Kramer
Director III (Division of Materials Science & Engineering) at Ames Lab, Department of Energy

Terry Lowe
Research Professor (Metallurgical and Materials Engineering) at Colorado School of Mines. Founder and President of Figure 8 LLC

Eric Fullerton
Professor at UC San Diego. Director, Center for Magnetic Recording Research. National Academy of Engineering

Emmanuel De Moor
Assistant Professor (Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering) at Colorado School of Mines

John Ormerod
Former VP at Arnold Magnetics, responsible for corporate new product development

Stan Trout
Technical consultant to the magnetics industry. Former Director of Magnetics Business at Molycorp

Walt Benecki
Business consultant to more than 100 clients who are actively engaged in the magnet industry



Contact Us

Niron Magnetics
650 Taft St. NE, Suite 400
Minneapolis, MN 55413