Magnetic-field-induced strain-glass-to-martensite transition in a Fe-Mn-Ga alloy

Xiaoming Sun, Daoyong Cong*, Yang Ren, Klaus Dieter Liss, Dennis E. Brown, Zhiyuan Ma, Shijie Hao, Weixing Xia, Zhen Chen, Lin Ma, Xinguo Zhao, Zhanbing He, Jian Liu, Runguang Li, Yandong Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Strain glass is a frozen disordered strain state with local strain order manifested by nano-sized strain domains, which is formed as a result of doping sufficient point defects into the normal martensitic system. Exploration of the transition between strain glass and long-range strain-ordered martensite is of both great fundamental importance and practical interest. However, it remains a mystery whether magnetic field can induce a transition from strain glass to martensite. Here, we report for the first time the magnetic-field-induced strain-glass-to-martensite transition, in a model system Fe-Mn-Ga. It was found that the martensitic transformation temperature of the Fe43- xMn28Ga29+ x alloys decreases rapidly with increasing x and the martensitic transformation disappears when x reaches the critical value xc = 2.0. Strain glass transition occurs in the alloy with x = 2.0 (Fe41Mn28Ga31), which is confirmed by the invariance of the average structure during cooling, the frequency dispersion of the ac storage modulus and internal friction following the Vogel–Fulcher relation, and the formation of nanodomains. The magnetic-field-induced transition from strain glass to non-modulated tetragonal martensite in Fe41Mn28Ga31 was indicated by the abrupt magnetization jump on the M(H) curve and directly evidenced by the crystal structure evolution with magnetic field change revealed by in-situ neutron diffraction experiments. The microscopic mechanism for this magnetic-field-induced strain-glass-to-martensite transition is discussed. The present study may not only help establish the unified theory for strain-glass-to-martensite transition under external fields but also open a new avenue for designing advanced materials with novel functional properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-23
Number of pages13
JournalActa Materialia
StatePublished - 15 Jan 2020


  • Ferroelastic materials
  • Martensitic transformation
  • Neutron diffraction
  • Shape memory alloy
  • Strain glass


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