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First-Principles Study of Thermodynamic and Magnetic Properties of Alloys

Ivan Zhuravlev, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The standard theoretical framework for predicting phase diagrams and other thermodynamic properties of alloys requires an adequate representation of the formation enthalpy. An important part of the formation enthalpy in size-mismatched alloys comes from atomic relaxations. The harmonic Kanzaki-Krivoglaz-Khachaturyan model of strain-induced interaction is generalized to concentrated size-mismatched alloys and adapted to first-principles calculations. The configuration dependence of both Kanzaki forces and force constants is represented by real-space cluster expansions that can be constructed based on the calculated forces. Developed configuration-dependent lattice deformation model is implemented for the fcc lattice and applied to Cu1–x Aux and Fe1–x Ptx alloys for concentrations x = 0.25, 0.5, and 0.75. The model is further adapted to concentration wave analysis and Monte Carlo. Good agreement with experiment is found for all systems except CuAu3 and FePt3. The structural and ordering energetics are studied in Au-Fe alloys by combining DFT calculations with effective Hamiltonian techniques: a cluster expansion with structural filters, and CLDM. The phase separation tendency in Au-Fe persists even if the fcc-bcc decomposition is suppressed. The relative stability of disordered bcc and fcc phases observed in nanoparticles is reproduced, but the fully ordered L10 AuFe, L12 Au3Fe, and L1 2 AuFe3 structures are unstable in DFT. Effects of magnetism on the chemical ordering are also discussed. Magnetocrystalline anisotropy is one of the key properties of a magnetic material. Understanding of its temperature and concentration dependence is a challenging theoretical problem with implications for the design of better materials for permanent magnets and other applications. The origins of the anomalous temperature dependence of magnetocrystalline anisotropy in (Fe 1–xCox)2B alloys are elucidated using first-principles calculations within the disordered local moment model. Excellent agreement with experimental data is obtained. Electronic structure calculations are used to examine the magnetic properties of Fe2P-based alloys and the mechanisms through which the Curie temperature and magnetocrystalline anisotropy can be optimized for specific applications. It is found that at elevated temperatures the magnetic interaction in pure Fe2P develops a pronounced two-dimensional character. Co-alloying of Fe2P with Co (or Ni) and Si is suggested as a strategy for maximizing the magnetocrystalline anisotropy above room temperature.

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Recommended Citation

Zhuravlev, Ivan, "First-Principles Study of Thermodynamic and Magnetic Properties of Alloys" (2017). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI10683781.