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HoxEr1-xN (x=0.25, 0.5, 0.75) samples were synthesized by nitriding of HoxEr1-x alloy bars and their thermal conductivity κ were measured. The measured κ values were comparable to those of stainless steel and Er3Ni. Ho0.5Er0.5N showed the highest κ of the present three samples. The thermal diffusivity calculated from the κ and the specific heat indicates that Ho0.5Er0.5N is a very promising regenerator material for the cryocoolers. The electrical resistivity ρ was also measured as a function of temperature.
A magnetic refrigeration test was performed using a test device filled with spherical GdN material synthesized by the hot isostatic pressing (HIP) method. Refrigeration with an active magnetic regenerator cycle was tested in the temperature range between 48 and 66 K, with the field changing from 1.2 to 3.7 T and 2.0 to 4.0 T at upper and lower sides of the regenerator bed filled with the GdN spheres, respectively. Temperature spans about of 2 K were obtained at both sides, and the total temperature span in each cycle attained about 5 K. The specific heat of the material was measured to calculate the magnetic entropy change ΔS and the adiabatic temperature change ΔT induced by the magnetic field change ΔH. It was suggested that for a given ΔH, larger ΔS and ΔT can be exploited when demagnetized to lower H, especially, to zero field.
We synthesized HoxEr1−xN (x =0.1, 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 0.9) by the carbothermic reduction method. The magnetic entropy change, ΔS, which is an indicator of performance of magnetocaloric effect, MCE, was obtained from data sets of magnetization M (H, T) measured at various temperature, T, and magnetic field, H, through the Maxwell equations. The Thus obtained ΔS vs. T curves have peaks at temperatures depending on x in a range of 8–18 K. ΔS values of HoxEr1−xN expressed in terms of J K−1 m−3 were higher than those of intermetallic compounds of rare earth and transition metals previously reported. These ΔS peak plots are along a convex curve, which may indicate an interaction between the two components.
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