Research ArticleMAGNETISM

Accelerated discovery of new magnets in the Heusler alloy family

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Science Advances  14 Apr 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 4, e1602241
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1602241

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Magnetic materials underpin modern technologies, ranging from data storage to energy conversion to contactless sensing. However, the development of a new high-performance magnet is a long and often unpredictable process, and only about two dozen magnets are featured in mainstream applications. We describe a systematic pathway to the design of novel magnetic materials, which demonstrates a high throughput and discovery speed. On the basis of an extensive electronic structure library of Heusler alloys containing 236,115 prototypical compounds, we filtered those displaying magnetic order and established whether they can be fabricated at thermodynamic equilibrium. Specifically, we carried out a full stability analysis of intermetallic Heusler alloys made only of transition metals. Among the possible 36,540 prototypes, 248 were thermodynamically stable but only 20 were magnetic. The magnetic ordering temperature, TC, was estimated by a regression calibrated on the experimental TC of about 60 known compounds. As a final validation, we attempted the synthesis of a few of the predicted compounds and produced two new magnets: Co2MnTi, which displays a remarkably high TC in perfect agreement with the predictions, and Mn2PtPd, which is an antiferromagnet. Our work paves the way for large-scale design of novel magnetic materials at potentially high speed.

  • Magnetism
  • High-throughput electronic structure theory
  • Electronic Structure Theory
  • Magnetic Materials
  • Materials Discovery
  • Materials Design
  • Heusler Alloys
  • Ferromagnets
  • antiferromagnets

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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