Niron has developed 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.

Clean Earth Magnet™

Niron’s Clean Earth Magnet™ technology has four major advantages against traditional magnet sources.


Niron’s new magnetic materials have distinct magnetic field strength and enhanced temperature stability compared to existing materials.


Using low-cost input materials such as iron and nitrogen with scalable manufacturing processes, we can achieve a competitive price point for mass market applications.


The use of abundant precursor materials means minimized environmental damage and an enduring source of magnets and electricity for future generations.

Supply Chain Resilience

No rare earth elements are used in Niron magnets. We are immune to geopolitical turmoil surrounding the controlled export of rare earth materials.

Niron’s Clean Earth Magnet™ technology is covered by the world’s largest iron nitride IP portfolio: 30 granted and 20 pending patents across 11 jurisdictions.

Our Team

Andy Blackburn


Jian-Ping Wang, PhD

Co-founder and CSO

John Larson, PhD


Frank Johnson, PhD


Board of Directors

Andy Blackburn

CEO, Niron Magnetics

Steve Bullock

Former Governor of Montana

Larry Burns, Ph.D.

Former Corporate Vice President, General Motors

Jimmy Kan, Ph.D.

Principal, Anzu Partners

David Michael

Managing Partner, Anzu Partners

Amit Shah

Partner, Artiman Ventures

Jian-Ping Wang, Ph.D.

Distinguished McKnight University Professor


Careers at Niron Magnetics

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