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The magnetocaloric and thermomagnetic properties of the MnNiGe 1-xAlx system have been studied by temperature-dependent x-ray diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and magnetization measurements. The partial substitution of Al for Ge in MnNiGe 1-xAlx results in a first order magnetostructural transition (MST) from a hexagonal ferromagnetic to an orthorhombic antiferromagnetic phase at 186 K (for x = 0.09). A large magnetic entropy change of ΔSM = -17.6 J/kg K for ΔH = 5 T was observed in the vicinity of TM = 186 K for x = 0.09. The value is comparable to those of giant magnetocaloric materials such as Gd5Si2Ge 2, MnFeP0.45As0.55, and Ni50Mn 37Sn13. The values of the latent heat (L = 6.6 J/g) and corresponding total entropy changes (ΔST = 35 J/kg K) have been evaluated for the MST using DSC measurements. Large negative values of ΔSM of -5.8 and -4.8 J/kg K for ΔH = 5 T in the vicinity of TC were observed for x = 0.09 and 0.085, respectively. A concentration-dependent phase diagram of transition temperatures (magnetic, structural, and magnetostructural) has been generated using magnetic, XRD, and DSC data. The role of magnetic and structural changes on transition temperatures is discussed. © 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.

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Journal of Applied Physics