Large magnetic-field-induced strains1 have been observed in Heusler alloys with a body-centred cubic ordered structure and have been explained by the rearrangement of martensite structural variants due to an external magnetic field1-3. These materials have attracted considerable attention as potential magnetic actuator materials. Here we report the magnetic-field-induced shape recovery of a compressively deformed NiCoMnIn alloy. Stresses of over 100 MPa are generated in the material on the application of a magnetic field of 70 kOe; such stress levels are approximately 50 times larger than that generated in a previous ferromagnetic shape-memory alloy 4. We observed 3 per cent deformation and almost full recovery of the original shape of the alloy. We attribute this deformation behaviour to a reverse transformation from the antiferromagnetic (or paramagnetic) martensitic to the ferromagnetic parent phase at 298 K in the Ni45Co 5Mn36.7In13.3 single crystal.
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