Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Advances in Condensed Matter Physics
Volume 2017, Article ID 2683789, 6 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/2683789
Research Article

Phase Transitions and Magnetocaloric Properties in MnCo1−xZrxGe Compounds

1Department of Physics, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA
2Department of Physics & Astronomy, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Anil Aryal; ude.uis@linalayra

Received 6 March 2017; Revised 6 May 2017; Accepted 15 May 2017; Published 13 June 2017

Academic Editor: Oleg Derzhko

Copyright © 2017 Anil Aryal et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The structural, magnetic, and magnetocaloric properties of () have been studied through X-ray diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry, and magnetization measurements. Results indicate that the partial substitution of Zr for Co in decreases the martensitic transition temperature (). For = 0.02, was found to coincide with the ferromagnetic transition temperature () resulting in a first-order magnetostructural transition (MST). A further increase in zirconium concentration ( = 0.04) showed a single transition at . The MST from the paramagnetic to ferromagnetic state results in magnetic entropy changes () of 7.2 J/kgK for = 5 T at 274 K for = 0.02. The corresponding value of the relative cooling power (RCP) was found to be 266 J/kg for = 5 T. The observed large value of MCE and RCP makes this system a promising material for magnetic cooling applications.

1. Introduction

The magnetocaloric effect (MCE) is a phenomenon in which a magnetic material heats up when a magnetic field is applied and cools down when the field is removed. In recent years, magnetic refrigeration based on the MCE has been considered as a possible ecofriendly and energy efficient cooling technology alternative to conventional vapor cycle refrigeration [1, 2]. Therefore, the developments of new materials that show large MCEs are essential. To date, the largest MCEs have been reported in materials such as Gd5Si2Ge2 [3], MnFe(P,As) [4], [5], NiMn(Ga,Sb,In) based Heusler alloys [6], and [7], which all show first-order crystallographic and magnetic phase transitions simultaneously, that is, magnetostructural transitions (MSTs). Hence, the exploration and study of the new materials that exhibit MSTs is important for applications and fundamental physics.

MnCoGe belongs to the family of ternary metallic compounds MM′X, where M and M′ are 3d transition metals and X is Si or Ge. Stoichiometric MnCoGe displays ferromagnetic (FM) properties below the Curie temperature ( ~ 345 K). In the paramagnetic (PM) region, the alloy transforms to a high-temperature, Ni2In-type hexagonal structure (space group P63/mmc) from a low-temperature TiNiSi-type orthorhombic structure (space group Pnma) at ~ 650 K [8]. If the structural transition temperature () shifts to coincide with , a magnetostructural phase transition with a large change in magnetization can be expected and can lead to large MCE values. Previous studies indicate that changes in stoichiometry, chemical composition, or application of external pressure can result in concurrent magnetic and structural transitions and therefore may increase the magnitude of magnetic entropy change to show a large MCE [916]. In this work, we present results on the partial replacement of Co by Zr in the system, which exhibits a MST and a large MCE.

2. Experiment

Polycrystalline samples with compositions 0.01 ≤ ≤ 0.04 were prepared by arc-melting high purity elements (99.99%) in an ultrahigh purity argon atmosphere. The samples were turned over and remelted to ensure homogeneity. The crystal structures were determined by powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) using CuKα radiation at room temperature. A superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID by Quantum Design) magnetometer was used to measure the magnetic properties of the compounds in the temperature interval 5–380 K in applied magnetic fields up to 5 T. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) measurements were carried out using a DSC 8000 instrument (Perkin-Elmer) with a ramp rate of 30 K/min during heating and cooling in the temperature range 150–450 K to detect the temperature induced first-order transitions.

3. Results and Discussion

The room temperature XRD patterns of compounds are shown in Figure 1. The sample with = 0.01 is in mixture state of the hexagonal (of about 80%) and unknown phase at room temperature. At Zr concentration, = 0.02, the hexagonal (Ni2In-type) structure stabilizes near room temperature with a small trace of orthorhombic phase (~15%). For = 0.04, the compound crystallizes in a single-phase hexagonal Ni2In-type structure. It has been reported that the orthorhombic phase of the MnCoGe system has smaller Co-Co separation [9]. Increasing the distance between the Co-atoms, either by creating Co vacancies or by substituting a larger element, stabilizes the hexagonal (Ni2In-type) phase at lower temperature [9, 17]. Therefore, the partial substitution of Co ( = 1.252 Å) by the larger Zr atoms ( = 1.602 Å) [18] in serves to stabilize the high-temperature austenite phase at lower temperatures.

Figure 1: Room temperature XRD patterns of compounds with 0.01 ≤ ≤ 0.04. The orthorhombic and hexagonal peaks are indexed with hkl Miller indices with “O” and “H,” respectively. The peaks indicated by “” are unknown phase. The peaks labeled with hkl Miller indices with the symbol “β” are from the wavelength, from the X-ray source.

Figure 2 shows the field dependence of the magnetization at = 5 K. The curves at low temperature show that the compounds possess a ferromagnetic type of ordering in the ground state. The saturation magnetization () for the compound with = 0.02 was found to be 3.72 /f.u., a value much larger than 2.87 /f.u. ( = 0.01) and 2.50 /f.u. ( = 0.04). It has been reported that the saturation magnetization of the parent MnCoGe in the orthorhombic structure ( = 3.73 /f.u.) is greater than that in the hexagonal structure (2.80 /f.u.) [19]. By comparing the saturation magnetization with that published in [19], and considering the results of the XRD and measurements (Figures 1 and 3), we conclude that the compound with = 0.02 is in the orthorhombic structure and that the samples with = 0.01 and 0.04 are in the hexagonal phase, respectively, in the ground state. Therefore, the increase in saturation magnetization for = 0.02 is attributed to the low-temperature FM orthorhombic phase.

Figure 2: Field dependence of the magnetization at = 5 K.
Figure 3: The temperature dependence of the magnetization for with 0.01 ≤ ≤ 0.04 on heating and cooling in an applied field of 100 Oe. The solid and open symbols represent heating and cooling cycles, respectively. Inset: versus curves on heating.

The temperature dependence of the magnetization of the compounds in an applied field of 100 Oe is shown in Figure 3. The curves were measured during heating and cooling cycles within 10 K–380 K. The values of the Curie temperatures () were calculated from the minimum of in the magnetization curve during the heating cycle (see inset of Figure 3). The graph shows that the compounds are ferromagnetic at low temperatures. With increasing temperature, a large jump in magnetization was observed, which is typical for a FM to PM transition at . A thermal hysteresis between heating and cooling curves was observed for the compound with = 0.02 which is a signature of a first-order structural transformation at . The first-order transition seen in the curves for = 0.02 was further confirmed by the observed endothermic and exothermic peaks in the DSC data (see Figure 4). Thus, a first-order MST from a FM TiNiSi-type phase to a PM Ni2In-type phase is observed in = 0.02 due to the coincidence of and . For the compounds with = 0.01 and 0.04, a second-order magnetic transition (SOT) from a FM to PM state was observed. The calculated values of and are shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Transition temperatures, Curie-Weiss temperatures, saturation magnetization (), effective magnetic moment, , and RCP of .
Figure 4: DSC heat flow curves (endothermic and exothermic peaks) as a function of temperature measured at the rate of 30 K/min during heating and cooling for the compound with = 0.02. Inset: DSC heat flow curves for = 0.01 and = 0.04. The arrows indicate the heating and cooling cycles.

The temperature dependence of the inverse susceptibility for for = 100 Oe is plotted in Figure 5. It is well known that the susceptibility () follows the Curie-Weiss law, , in the paramagnetic region, where is the Curie constant and is the Curie-Weiss temperature. The values of the parameter were obtained by fitting the linear paramagnetic region and are given in Table 1. The observed values of are positive and larger than , which indicates a ferromagnetic interaction between spins [20]. The effective magnetic moment () in the PM region has been calculated from data using the relation = ≈ 8 , where is the molar Curie constant [21]. The corresponding values of the saturation magnetization () were then calculated using = and = [21]. The calculated values of and are listed in Table 1. Comparing the values of the saturation magnetization obtained from and curves (see Table 1), one can conclude that the orientation of the magnetic moments in the ground state of the compound in the orthorhombic structure ( = 0.02) is close to a parallel ferromagnetic type compared to a noncollinear ferromagnetic type in the compounds in the hexagonal structure ( = 0.01, 0.04).

Figure 5: Temperature dependence of the inverse susceptibility in a field of 100 Oe. The solid line is the fitting according to the Curie-Weiss law.

The magnetic entropy change () near the transition temperature for field changes up to 5 T is plotted in Figure 6. The values were calculated from the isothermal magnetization curves (shown in Figure 6) using the Maxwell relation, = [1, 2]. The validity of the Maxwell relation to evaluate in the case of first-order transitions has been discussed in detail in [22]. A large value of 7.2 J/kgK corresponding to a first-order magnetostructural transition was found for the compound with = 0.02 for = 5 T. The large value of is attributed to the abrupt change in magnetization resulting from the coincidence of and brought forth by the Zr substitution for Co. For compounds with = 0.01 and 0.04, smaller values of , 3.5 and 2.8 J/kgK, were found for = 5 T, respectively.

Figure 6: Isothermal magnetization curves (a) and magnetic entropy changes, (b), with a magnetic field change = 5 T for .

In addition to large magnetic entropy changes, large values of relative cooling power (RCP) are essential for magnetic refrigeration. RCP is an important parameter that estimates the usefulness of a material as a magnetic refrigerant. The RCP is a measure of amount of heat transferred between the hot and cold reservoirs in an ideal refrigeration cycle. It is defined as RCP = (max) ×  , where is the full width at half maximum of the curve [23]. The field dependence of the RCP for is shown in Figure 7. Large values of the RCP 251, 266, and 192 J/kg with = 5 T were found for = 0.01, 0.02, and 0.04, respectively. The observed large values of and RCP may be interesting for magnetic refrigeration applications.

Figure 7: Field dependence of the RCP for .

4. Conclusions

The structural, magnetic, and magnetocaloric properties of compounds have been studied. Through the partial substitution of Zr for Co, the high-temperature austenite phase has been stabilized near room temperature. A first-order MST was observed for the composition with = 0.02, resulting from the coincidence of and . Large values of and RCP corresponding to first-order MSTs were observed for = 0.02. Therefore, these large values of the magnetic entropy change and RCP and the nontoxic and less-expensive constituent elements make this system a promising material for magnetic cooling applications.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest in publication of this paper.

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the US Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences (BES), under Award no. DE-FG02-06ER46291 (SIU) and DE-FG02-13ER46946 (LSU).

References

  1. K. A. Gschneidner Jr., V. K. Pecharsky, and A. O. Tsokol, “Recent developments in magnetocaloric materials,” Reports on Progress in Physics 68, article 1479, 2005. View at Google Scholar
  2. A. M. Tishin and Y. I. Spichkin, The Magnetocaloric Effect and Its Applications, Great Britain Institute of Physics, 2003. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar
  3. V. K. Pecharsky and K. A. Gschneidner Jr., “Giant magnetocaloric effect in Gd5(Si2Ge2),” Physical Review Letters, vol. 78, no. 23, article 4494, 1997. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar
  4. O. Tegus, E. Brück, K. H. J. Buschow, and F. R. de Boer, “Transition-metal-based magnetic refrigerants for room-temperature applications,” Nature, vol. 415, pp. 150–152, 2002. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  5. A. Fujita, S. Fujieda, Y. Hasegawa, and K. Fukamichi, “Itinerant-electron metamagnetic transition and large magnetocaloric effects in La(FexSi1-x)13 compounds and their hydrides,” Physical Review B, vol. 67, Article ID 104416, 2003. View at Google Scholar
  6. I. Dubenko, M. Khan, A. K. Pathak, B. R. Gautam, S. Stadler, and N. Ali, “Magnetocaloric effects in Ni-Mn-X based Heusler alloys with X=Ga, Sb, In,” Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, vol. 321, no. 7, pp. 754–757, 2009. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  7. H. Wada and Y. Tanabe, “Giant magnetocaloric effect of MnAs1-xSbx,” Applied Physics Letters, vol. 79, no. 20, article 3302, 2001. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar
  8. T. Kanomata, H. Ishigaki, T. Suzuki, H. Yoshida, S. Abe, and T. Kaneko, “Magneto-volume effect of MnCo1-xGe(0x0.2),” Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, vol. 140–144, no. 1, pp. 131-132, 1995. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  9. J.-T. Wang, D.-S. Wang, C. Chen et al., “Vacancy induced structural and magnetic transition in MnCo1-xGe,” Applied Physics Letters, vol. 89, no. 26, Article ID 262504, 2006. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  10. N. T. Trung, L. Zhang, L. Caron, K. H. J. Buschow, and E. Bruck, “Giant magnetocaloric effects by tailoring the phase transitions,” Applied Physics Letters, vol. 96, Article ID 172504, 2010. View at Google Scholar
  11. N. T. Trung, V. Biharie, L. Zhang, L. Caron, K. H. J. Buschow, and E. Bruck, “From single- to double-first-order magnetic phase transition in magnetocaloric Mn1-xCrxCoGe compounds,” Applied Physics Letters, vol. 96, Article ID 162507, 2010. View at Google Scholar
  12. E. K. Liu, W. Zhu, L. Feng et al., “Vacancy-tuned paramagnetic/ferromagnetic martensitic transformation in Mn-poor Mn1-xCoGe alloys,” Europhysics Letters, vol. 91, no. 1, article 17003, 2010. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar
  13. L. Caron, N. T. Trung, and E. Brück, “Pressure-tuned magnetocaloric effect in Mn0.93Cr0.07CoGe,” Physical Review B, vol. 84, Article ID 20414, 2011. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar
  14. S. Niziol, R. Zach, J. P. Senateur, J. Beille, and J. Magn, “Pressure dependence of the magnetic transition temperature of the CoMnGe1-xSix system,” Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, vol. 79, no. 3, pp. 333–337, 1989. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar
  15. V. Johnson, “Diffusionless orthorhombic to hexagonal transitions in ternary silicides and germanides,” Inorganic Chemistry, vol. 14, no. 5, pp. 1117–1120, 1975. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar
  16. P. E. Markin, N. V. Mushnikov, V. I. Khrabrov, and M. A. Korotin, “Magnetic properties of the Mn1.9-xCoxGe compounds with a hexagonal crystal structure,” Physics of Metals and Metallography, vol. 106, no. 5, pp. 481–489, 2008. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  17. T. Samanta, I. Dubenko, Q. Abdiel, S. Stadler, and A. Naushad, “Large magnetocaloric effects over a wide temperature range in MnCo1-xZnxGe,” Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 113, article 17A922, 2013. View at Google Scholar
  18. W. B. Pearson, The Crystal Chemistry and Physics of Metals and Alloys, Wiley-interscience, New York, NY, USA, 1972.
  19. F. Guillou, F. Wilhelm, O. Tegus, and A. Rogalev, “Microscopic mechanism of the giant magnetocaloric effect in MnCoGe alloys probed by x-ray magnetic circular dichroism,” Applied Physics Letters, vol. 108, Article ID 122405, 2016. View at Google Scholar
  20. A. Dhahri, M. Jemmali, M. Hussein, E. Dhahri, A. Koumina, and E. K. Hlil, “Critical behavior near the ferromagnetic to paramagnetic phase transition temperature in polycrystalline La0.7Ca0.2Sr0.1Mn1-xCrxO3 (x=0.15  and 0.2),” Journal of Alloys and Compounds, vol. 618, pp. 788–794, 2014. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus
  21. J. Crangle, The Magnetic Properties of Solids, Edward Arnold (publishers) Limited, London, UK, 1977.
  22. K. A. Gschneidner and V. K. Pecharsky, “Magnetocaloric materials,” Annual Review of Materials Science, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 387–429, 2000. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar
  23. A. Aryal, A. Quetz, S. Pandey et al., “Phase transitions and magnetocaloric and transport properties in off-stoichiometric GdNi2Mnx,” Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 119, no. 4, Article ID 043905, 2016. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at Scopus