The Effect of Step-Like Martensitic Transformation on the Magnetic Entropy Change of Ni40.6Co8.5Mn40.9Sn10 Unidirectional Crystal Growth with the Bridgman-Stockbarger Technique

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We report a step-like martensitic transformation and its effect on magnetocaloric properties in Ni40.6Co8.5Mn40.9Sn10 unidirectional crystal grown using the Bridgman-Stockbarger technique followed by vacuum annealing at 1173 K for 72 h. This alloy undergoes successive first-order phase transitions which are attributed to the monotonic compositional variation along the crystal growth direction; the latter results in the increase of the full-width at half-maximum of the magnetic entropy change as a function of temperature (δTFWHM). For a magnetic field change of 2 and 5 T, the maximum magnetic entropy change are 9.7 and 16.0 J kg-1 K-1 with an extended δTFWHM of 11 and 23 K, respectively. The average hysteresis loss for a field change of 2 T is 19 J kg-1 reducing the refrigerant capacity by 17%.