Magnetoelastic phenomena of irreversible character were investigated on the rare-earth germanides Nd5Ge3 and Gd5Ge 3 which are prominent members of the hexagonal R5Ge 3 series. Both compounds order antiferromagnetically at 52 K and 76 K, respectively. A strong magnetostructural irreversibility (i.e. a relative length change of about 10-3 which can be induced by a magnetic field and stays stable after ramping down the field) was detected for both samples by measurements of magnetostriction and thermal expansion using capacitive dilatometry. This transition can be reversed by heating the sample near the ordering temperature. Additional experiments by X-ray and neutron scattering at Gd5Ge3 in order to analyze the effect itself and the structural reversal on an atomistic scale indicate the polymorphic (or metastable) magnetic character (e.g. several propagation vectors (0 0 0.4) and (0.3 0.3 0) were found) which allow to induce strong lattice distortions by an external magnetic field via the magnetoelastic coupling.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)