Neodymium magnets have replaced alnico and ferrite magnets in many of the myriad applications in modern technology where strong permanent magnets are required, because their greater strength allows the use of smaller, lighter magnets for a given application. Some examples are:
Head actuators for computer hard disks
Mechanical e-cigarette firing switches
Locks for doors
Loudspeakers and headphones
Mobile phone speakers, taptic feedback and auto focus actuators
Magnetic bearings and couplings
Benchtop NMR spectrometers
Electric motors: (Using neodymium magnets in electric motors can reduce their power consumption by half.)
Lifting and compressor motors
Spindle and stepper motors
Electrical power steering
Drive motors for hybrid and electric vehicles. The electric motors of each Toyota Prius require one kilogram (2.2 lb) of neodymium.
Electric generators for wind turbines (only those with permanent magnet excitation)
Alignment of nanocellulose chiral nematic suspensions to fabricate cellulose nanocrystals films with tuneable specular and off-specular optical response
Retail media case decouplers[clarification needed
In process industries, powerful neodymium magnets are used to catch foreign bodies and protect product and processes
The greater strength of neodymium magnets has inspired new applications in areas where magnets were not used before, such as magnetic jewelry clasps, children’s magnetic building sets (and other neodymium magnet toys) and as part of the closing mechanism of modern sport parachute equipment. They are the main metal in the formerly popular desk-toy magnets, “Buckyballs” and “Buckycubes”, though some U.S. retailers have chosen not to sell them because of child-safety concerns, and they have been banned in Canada for the same reason.
The strength and magnetic field homogeneity on neodymium magnets has also opened new applications in the medical field with the introduction of open magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners used to image the body in radiology departments as an alternative to superconducting magnets that use a coil of superconducting wire to produce the magnetic field.
Neodymium magnets are used as a surgically placed anti-reflux system which is a band of magnets surgically implanted around the lower esophageal sphincter to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). They have also been implanted in the fingertips in order to provide sensory perception of magnetic fields, though this is an experimental procedure only popular among biohackers and grinders.