Magnetic Torque in Single Crystal Ni–Mn–Ga

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Magnetic shape memory alloys deform in an external magnetic field in two distinct ways: by axial straining—known as magnetic-field-induced strain—and by bending when exposed to torque. Here, we examine the magnetic torque that a magnetic field exerts on a long Ni–Mn–Ga rod. A single crystal specimen of Ni–Mn–Ga was constrained with respect to bending and subjected to an external magnetic field. The torque required to rotate the specimen in the field was measured as a function of the orientation of the sample with the external magnetic field, strain, and the magnitude of the external magnetic field. The torque was analyzed based on the changes in the free energy with the angle between the field and the sample. The contributions of magnetocrystalline anisotropy and shape anisotropy to the Zeeman energy determine the net torque. The torque is large when magneotcrystalline and shape anisotropies act synergistically and small when these anisotropies act antagonistically.