Bulk iron nitride can be synthesized from iron nitride powder by spark plasma sintering. The iron nitride can be spark plasma sintered at a temperature of less than 600.degree. C. and a pressure of less than 600 MPa, with 400 MPa or less most often being sufficient. High pressure SPS can consolidate dense iron nitrides at a lower temperature to avoid decomposition. The higher pressure and lower temperature of spark discharge sintering avoids decomposition and limits grain growth, enabling enhanced magnetic properties. The method can further comprise synthesis of nanocrystalline iron nitride powders using two-step reactive milling prior to high-pressure spark discharge sintering.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
 This invention was made with Government support under contract no. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Sandia Corporation. The Government has certain rights in the invention.