Correlation between crystallographic and microstructural features and low hysteresis Ni50.0Mn35.25In14.75 melt-spun ribbons
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In this work, crystallographic, microstructural and magnetocaloric investigations were performed on textured Ni50Mn35.25In14.75 melt-spun ribbons with low thermal (6 K) and magnetic-field induced hysteresis (−0.73 J kg−1 at 2 T) and moderate maximum magnetic entropy change ΔSMmax (11 J kg−1 K−1 at 5 T) at room temperature (302 K). The austenite in the ribbons crystallizes into a L21 structure, whereas martensite has a monoclinic incommensurate 6 M modulated structure as determined with the superspace theory. By means of electron backscatter diffraction technique, the morphological and crystallographic features of microstructure were systematically characterized. Ribbons possess a fine microstructure with an average grain size (initial austenite phase) of around 10 μm, whereas the 6 M martensite has a self-accommodated microstructure with 4 kinds of twin-related martensite variants. During inverse martensitic transformation, the austenite prefers to nucleate at the grain boundaries of initial austenite. By means of cofactor conditions and crystallographic orientation analyses, the good geometrical compatibility between austenite and martensite was confirmed. Based on the crystal structure and microstructure information obtained, the reason of the low thermal hysteresis was discussed.