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J Phys Condens Matter. 2009 Jun 10;21(23):233201. doi: 10.1088/0953-8984/21/23/233201. Epub 2009 May 18.

Magnetocaloric effect and its relation to shape-memory properties in ferromagnetic Heusler alloys.

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Departament d'Estructura i Constituents de la Matèria, Facultat de Física, Universitat de Barcelona, Diagonal 647, E-08028 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.


Magnetic Heusler alloys which undergo a martensitic transition display interesting functional properties. In the present review, we survey the magnetocaloric effects of Ni-Mn-based Heusler alloys and discuss their relation with the magnetic shape-memory and magnetic superelasticity reported in these materials. We show that all these effects are a consequence of a strong coupling between structure and magnetism which enables a magnetic field to rearrange martensitic variants as well as to provide the possibility to induce the martensitic transition. These two features are respectively controlled by the magnetic anisotropy of the martensitic phase and by the difference in magnetic moments between the structural phases. The relevance of each of these contributions to the magnetocaloric properties is analysed.

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