Low-symmetry phases in intermetallics - lattice instability and magnetomechanics (LILI)

The project focuses on exploring the properties of low-symmetry martensite phases of intermetallic compounds, mainly by proposing and implementing novel experimental approaches, utilizing laser-ultrasonics for inspecting elastic anomalies of the lattice. Based on the experimental results, we have an ambition to gain a deeper insight into the principles governing the stability of these phases, and to unravel the complex lattice-(magneto)elasticity relationships in them. The revealed principles are expected to shed a new light on the unique magneto-mechanical behavior of Ni-Mn-based Heusler alloys, and to indicate directions for designing other alloys that might exhibit similar functionality. Last but not least, the proposed research has a more general aim to enable easier linking between behavior of ferroelastic intermetallics and their treatment through ab-initio calculations (that dominates the literature nowadays), through inspecting the details of Fermi-surface changes close to the transition temperatures by temperature- and direction-resolved magnetic susceptibility measurements.