Experiments (top) showing near zero-net magnetization of MnAu2Al following plastic deformation and simulations (bottom) of low energy displacive pathways enabled by local spin orderings.
Intellectual merit: Ordered intermetallics that undergo displacive slip, in which atoms occupy new sites, thereby creating new chemical and structural environments, promise a strong magnetomechanical coupling. IRG researchers combined theoretical and experimental work to discover a strong magnetoplastic response in the intermetallic Heusler MnAu2Al, enabled by energetically preferred local spin orderings at defect states.
Broader Impacts: Results from the current study demonstrating magnetic spin orderings existing at defect states yet not hosted in the bulk material could unlock new pathways for tailoring strong couplings between magnetism and plastic deformation. Such a tunable response would enable advances in actuators, motors, and magnetically-assisted manufacturing routes.