The system Gd5(SixGe1−x)4 for 0.4⩽x⩽0.5 has been shown to have an unusual first order, coupled magnetic-structural phase transformation at the Curie temperature. Above the transformation temperature Tc, the material is paramagnetic with a monoclinic structure; below Tc, it is ferromagnetic with an orthorhombic structure. Another unusual feature of this phase transformation is that an applied magnetic field can increase Tc by 5 K per tesla. In this study, the magnetic-structural transformation in single crystalGd5Si2Ge2 was triggered by holding the sample at a temperature just above Tc, then using an applied field to increase Tc beyond the sample temperature, thereby inducing the magnetic-structural transformation. The dynamics of this field-induced phase transformation at various temperatures just above Tc were observed by measuring the magnetization as a function of time. This magnetization change is caused by the first order phase transformation which is distinctly different from the magnetization reversal which one observes in conventional magnetic relaxation experiments. The transformation could be modeled as a thermal activation process with a single energy barrier of height4.2±0.2 eV.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/thomas_lograsso/138/