Giant Magnetocaloric Materials Could Have Large Impact On The Environment

June 25, 2007

clipped from www.terradaily.com

Materials that change temperature in magnetic fields could lead to new refrigeration technologies that reduce the use of greenhouse gases, thanks to new research at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and Ames National Laboratory.

Magnetic refrigeration is a clean technology that uses magnetic fields to manipulate the degree of ordering (or entropy) of electronic or nuclear magnetic dipoles in order to reduce a material’s temperature and allow the material to serve as a refrigerant. New materials for refrigeration based on gadolinium-germanium-silicon alloys display a giant magnetocaloric effect due to unusual coupling between the material’s magnetism and chemical structure.

The prospects for a viable magnetic refrigeration technology recently became brighter with the report of a giant magnetocaloric effect in gadolinium-silicon-germanium alloys.
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