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The Curie temperature of rare-earth Co intermetallics is investigated by self-consistent spin-polarized electronic-structure calculations on Y–Co compounds. The total exchange interaction of a given site with all other sites (Jo) is calculated by the linear-muffin-tin-orbital method using the local force theorem and employed to obtain mean-field Curie-temperature estimates. The theoretical predictions for YCo3, YCo5, and Y2Co17 are in fair agreement with the experimental Curie temperatures. For YCo5, the variation of exchange interactions (Jij) with distance is analyzed, and it is discussed how the presence of nonequivalent cobalt sites affects the Curie temperature of the compounds.