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Phys Rev Lett. 2009 Jan 23;102(3):035702. Epub 2009 Jan 22.

Understanding the phase transitions of the Ni2MnGa magnetic shape memory system from first principles.

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  • 1Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH, D-40237, Düsseldorf, Germany.


The free energies of the austenite, the (modulated) premartensite and the unmodulated martensite of Ni2MnGa are determined using density functional theory and including quasiharmonic phonons and fixed-spin-moment magnons. This approach very well reproduces the complete phase sequence (martensite<-->premartensite<-->austenite) of stoichiometric Ni2MnGa as a function of temperature. By analyzing the relevant free energy contributions, we also understand the delicate interplay of phonons and magnons driving both phase transitions.

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