Identifying the critical point of the weakly first-order itinerant magnet DyCo2 with complementary magnetization and calorimetric measurements

We examine the character of the itinerant magnetic transition of DyCo2 by different calorimetric methods, thereby separating the heat capacity and latent heat contributions to the entropy—allowing direct comparison to other itinerant electron metamagnetic systems. The heat capacity exhibits a large λ-like peak at the ferrimagnetic ordering phase transition, a signature that is remarkably similar to La(Fe,Si)13, where it is attributed to giant spin fluctuations. Using calorimetric measurements, we also determine the point at which the phase transition ceases to be first order: the critical magnetic field, μ0Hcrit = 0.4 ± 0.1 T and temperature Tcrit = 138.5 ± 0.5 K, and we compare these values to those obtained from analysis of magnetization by application of the Shimizu inequality for itinerant electron metamagnetism. Good agreement is found between these independent measurements, thus establishing the phase diagram and critical point with some confidence. In addition, we find that the often-used Banerjee criterion may not be suitable for determination of first order behavior in itinerant magnet systems.

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