Plateau-like magnetocaloric effect in layered intermetallic compounds activated by tripled magnetic cell
Materials Today Physics
Energy-efficient and environment-friendly solid-state magnetic refrigeration requires materials with extraordinary magnetocaloric properties. We report the plateau-like magnetocaloric effect activated by tripled magnetic cell in layered intermetallic TbMn2-xCoxSi2 compounds, and the consequent large refrigerant capacity. Substitution of Mn with Co significantly modified the magnetic properties evidenced by two successive ferromagnetic first-order transitions and strong magneto-elasticity as well as significant contraction of the unit cell. Detailed neutron diffraction investigations have established the formation of a tripled magnetic unit cell structure at the temperature range between two magnetic transitions. The overlapping entropy curves near the two transition temperatures results in a plateau-like magnetocaloric effect and enhanced refrigerant capacity. Existence of this special magnetic cell also leads to a variety of interesting physical properties, including a significant drop in resistance and pronounced anomalies in the heat capacity, as well as different responses of the two transition temperatures to an applied magnetic field. The impact of the formation of a tripled magnetic cell on the physical properties is highly unusual for magnetic alloys and merits expanded investigation of this class of magnetic materials to explore for novel applications.
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Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation