The effect of nanostructuring on the magnetic entropy of materials for room-temperature magnetic cooling is investigated by model calculations. The materials are structurally inhomogeneous with a large number of nonequivalent crystallographic sites. In the mean-field Heisenberg model, the entropy density is a unique function of the local magnetization so that the coupled set of nonlinear mean-field equations yields not only the magnetization but also the entropy density. Since most of the entropy is localized near grain boundaries, nanomagnetic cooling requires small feature sizes. Magnetic anisotropy is a substantial complication, even on a mean-field level, but the corresponding corrections are often very small.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)