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High energy ball milling study of Fe2MnSn Heusler alloy

Vivek Kumar Jain, N. Lakshmi, Vishal Jain, Sijo A. K., and K. Venugopalan

Citation: 1665, 130032 (2015); doi: 10.1063/1.4918180

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Published by the American Institute of Physics
High Energy Ball Milling Study of Fe2MnSn Heusler Alloy

Vivek Kumar Jain,* N. Lakshmi, Vishal Jain, Sijo A. K., and K. Venugopalan

Department of Physics, Mohanlal Sukhadia University, Udaipur-313001, India


Abstract. The structural and magnetic properties of as-melted and high energy ball milled alloy samples have been
studied by X-ray diffraction, DC magnetization and electronic structure calculations by means of density functional
theory. The observed properties are compared to that of the bulk sample. There is a very good enhancement of saturation
magnetization and coercivity in the nano-sized samples as compared to bulk which is explained in terms of structural
disordering and size effect.
Keywords: Heusler alloy, High energy ball Milling, Density of states
PACS: 81.20.Wk; 71.23.-k

Heusler alloys mostly have attracted attention
because of their unique properties like high spin The X-ray diffractograms (XRD) for as-melted
polarization, half-metallic ferromagnetism and high sample shows the presence of a cubical phase with
Curie temperature. Fe2MnZ, with Z belonging to the lattice parameter 6.246 co-existing with a tetragonal
III and IV group, are well known magnetic systems one. However, after milling, with different time 30, 60
with a good magnetic moment due to manganese and 90 minute, the contribution from the tetragonal
atoms. Nanocrystalline materials exhibit physical phase becomes lesser.
properties that are quite different from those of their 3000 As melted
bulk shape [1-2]. In this paper we have studied the
magnetic properties of nano samples of Fe2MnSn
Heusler alloy mechanically milled for 30, 60, 90 1000
minutes using high energy ball milling.
30m milled
Intensity (I)

Ingots of Fe2MnSn alloy were prepared by argon
arc melting of 99.9% pure Fe, Mn and Sn. Three nano-
60m milled
sized samples were synthesized from the as-melted 1000
ingot by high energy ball milling for 30, 60 and 90
minutes with a SPEX 8000M mixer mill and WC 500
milling media. Sample to ball weight ratio was fixed at
1:20. DC magnetization measurements were done at
90m milled
room temperature on a vibrating sample magnetometer 1000
in a field up to 1 T. Density functional theory was used
to calculate the electronic structures using FP-LAPW 500
method by the WIEN2k package. We have used GGA
for the exchange correlation developed by Perdew et 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
al. The energy threshold between the core and the 2 (degree)
valence states was set to 6.0 Ry and RMT Kmax = 7 FIGURE 1. XRD pattern of as-melted and samples milled
for different time periods.
were used. The energy convergence criterion was set
to 104 Ry and k-point set to 3000.

Solid State Physics

AIP Conf. Proc. 1665, 130032-1130032-2; doi: 10.1063/1.4918180
2015 AIP Publishing LLC 978-0-7354-1310-8/$30.00

The average crystalline sizes of the samples have and therefore the over-all character is metallic at the
been calculated by the Scherrer equation and decreases Fermi level. The band structure calculations also
from 11 nm to 3 nm with increase in milling time. The confirm the metallic behavior at gamma point for both
atomic disorder and strain between X, Y and Z sites in majority and minority spins at the Fermi level. Total
Heusler alloy could result in a change of the lattice DOS and band structure calculations shows a band gap
parameter. However with increasing milling time a of 0.35 eV at the gamma point above the Fermi level in
shift of this peak towards higher angles is observed, minority spin.
indicating that the replacement of Mn and Sn by Fe
causes decreases in the lattice parameter. Lattice
parameter obtained from XRD has been optimized for
L21 order structure by volume optimization and found
6.007 .
DC magnetization recorded at room temperature on
vibrating sample magnetometer in a field upto 1 T. The
M-H curve is typical of ferromagnetic systems with a
small coercive field 6 Oe for the as-melted sample.
The coercivity of milled samples is high than the as-
melted sample and increases with increase in the
milling time from 6 Oe to 70 Oe. This is due to the
increase in the defects with increase in milling times
which act as pinning centers leading to magnetic
hardening. The saturation magnetization values are
2.33 B, 2.17 B and 2.06 B for the 30, 60 and 90
minutes milled samples respectively are higher than
that the as-melted sample of 1.48 B. Squareness factor
increases with increase in the milling time from 0.009
to 0.083. The calculated moment for L21 ordered
structure from DFT is 5.31 B.

FIGURE 3. Total and Partial Density of States of Fe2MnSn.

In conclusion, ball milling study of Fe2MnSn

shows that the magnetic and structural properties
improve upon ball milling to reduce it to nano
proportions. The DOS and band structure calculation
show that metallic and ferromagnetic behavior exists
at the Fermi energy in both the majority and minority
spin states.

The work has been supported by UGC DSA and
DST-FIST schemes of the Department of Physics, M L
Sukhadia University, Udaipur.

FIGURE 2. Variation in Crystalline size, Coercivity, Lattice
parameter, Saturation magnetization with milling time.
1. A. Vinesh, H. Bhargava, N. Lakshmi and K.
Venugopalan, Journal of Applied Physics, 105, 07A309
The density of state of Fe2MnSn shows that (2009).
metallic behavior at Fermi level for both majority and 2. V. Jain, J. Nehra, V. D. Sudheesh, N. Lakshmi and K.
minority spin and shows the ferromagnetic behavior. Venugopalan, AIP Conf. Proc., 1536, 935 (2013).
In majority spin states, although Mn shows
semiconductor behavior, Fe shows metallic behavior