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The magnetocaloric effect (MCE) refers to entropy changes of a magnetic material in an applied magnetic field tied to adiabatic changes in temperature. Materials exhibiting a sizable MCE form the basis of novel energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly refrigeration technologies employing the the magnetocaloric cooling cycle, which can be used e.g., in household refrigerators.

Our research focuses on compounds of the series Mn5-xFexSi3 which are composed of abundant and ecologically friendly elements and exhibit an MCE of approx. 3J/(kg K) at reasonable magnetic field changes (0-2T). Depending on the compositional parameter x, these compounds show magnetic and/or structural phase transition at different temperatures.

We investigate the crystal structures and magnetic ordering with neutron and x-ray powder and single crystal diffraction and macroscopic magnetization measurements. In addition, to shed some light onto fundamental processes of the MCE, we perform inelastic neutron scattering experiments to investigate lattice and magnetic excitations in the magnetically ordered as well as in the paramagnetic phases.

  • Magnetocaloric Materials

  • Strongly anisotropic structure and magnetism of MnFe4Si3

  • Magnetocaloric effect linked to partial spin reordering in MnFe4Si3

  • Inverse magnetocaloric effect in Mn5Si3 linked to magnetostructural transition