Influence of crystalline defects on magnetic nanodomains in a rare-earth-free magnetocrystalline anisotropic alloy

Palanisamy, D. and Kovács, A. and Hegde, O. and Dunin-Borkowski, R.E. and Raabe, D. and Hickel, T. and Gault, B.

Volume: 5 Pages:
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.5.064403
Published: 2021

A complex interplay between magnetic domain structure and crystalline imperfections, here twins, is revealed in a rare-earth-free MnAl bulk magnet. The magnetic domains are observed to be in the nanometer range for a large part of the magnetic structure and to scale with the number density of twins formed during thermal processing. We explain this phenomenon by a reduction in domain-wall energy at the twinned regions as proven by ab initio calculations. In addition, our atomic-scale analysis reveals that the twin boundaries contain excess Mn atoms that reduce the local magnetization, serving as an obstacle for domain wall motion. These insights can help guide the strategic design of magnetic materials by controlling the initial phase distribution to tailor the twin density and hence, the distribution of domains. © 2021 authors.

« back