Magnetization of the compound LaFe11.4Si1.6 with the cubic NaZn13-type structure was measured as functions of temperature and magnetic field around its Curie temperature TC of ∼208 K. It is found that the magnetic phase transition at TC is completely reversible. Magnetic entropy change ΔS, allowing one to estimate the magnetocaloric effect, was determined based on the thermodynamic Maxwell relation. The achieved magnitude of |ΔS| reaches 19.4 J/kg K under a field of 5 T, which exceeds that of most other materials involving a reversible magnetic transition in the corresponding temperature range. The large entropy change is ascribed to the sharp change of magnetization, which is caused by a large negative lattice expansion at the TC. An asymmetrical broadening of |ΔS| peak with increasing field was observed, which is resulted from the field-induced itinerant-electron metamagnetic transition from the paramagnetic to ferromagnetic state above the TC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)