ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces vol:5 issue:20 pages:10118-10126
Ferromagnetic single crystalline , , and -oriented expanded austenite is obtained by plasma nitriding of paramagnetic 316L austenitic stainless steel single crystals at either 300 or 400 °C. After nitriding at 400 °C, the  direction appears to constitute the magnetic easy axis due to the interplay between a large lattice expansion and the expected decomposition of the expanded austenite, which results in Fe- and Ni-enriched areas. However, a complex combination of uniaxial (i.e., twofold) and biaxial (i.e., fourfold) in-plane magnetic anisotropies is encountered. It is suggested that the former is related to residual stress-induced effects while the latter is associated to the in-plane projections of the cubic lattice symmetry. Increasing the processing temperature strengthens the biaxial in-plane anisotropy in detriment of the uniaxial contribution, in agreement with a more homogeneous structure of expanded austenite with lower residual stresses. In contrast to polycrystalline expanded austenite, single crystalline expanded austenite exhibits its magnetic easy axes along basic directions.