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  1. Heusler compounds and alloys based on them are of great recent interest because they exhibit a wide variety of spin structures, magnetic properties, and electron-transport phenomena. Their properties are tunable by alloying and we have investigated L21-orderd compound Ru2MnSn and its alloys by varying the atomic Mn:Sn composition. While antiferromagnetic ordering with a Néel temperature of 361 K was observed in Ru2MnSn, the Mn-poor Ru2Mn0.8Sn1.2 alloy exhibits properties of a diluted antiferromagnet in which there are localized regions of uncompensated Mn spins. Furthermore, a noncoplanar spin structure, evident from a topological Hall-effect contribution to the room-temperature Hall resistivity, is realized in Ru2Mn0.8Sn1.2. Our combined experimental and theoretical analysis shows that in the Ru2Mn0.8Sn1.2 alloy, the magnetic properties can be explained in terms of a noncoplanar antiferromagnetic scissor mode, which creates a small net magnetization in a magnetic field and subsequently yields a Berry curvature with a strong topological Hall effect.
  2. Magnetotransport and ferromagnetism in thin films of Co2Si nanoclusters are investigated experimentally and theoretically. The nanoclusters are fabricated by an inert-gas condensation-type cluster-deposition method and have an average size of 11.3 nm. Unlike the bulk Co2Si that exhibits a very weak net magnetic moment only below 10 K, the nanoclusters exhibit room-temperature ferromagnetism with a substantial saturation magnetization. Key features of the system are its closeness to the Stoner transition, magnetic moments induced by spin polarization starting from surface atoms, and nonuniaxial anisotropy associated with the orthorhombic crystal structure of Co2Si. A method is introduced to determine the effective anisotropy using the experimental magnetization data of this complex system and its relationship with the two lowest-order nonuniaxial anisotropy constants. On decreasing temperature from 300 K, the nanoclusters show electron-transport properties unusual for a ferromagnetic metal, including an increase of Hall resistivity and a nonmonotonic change of negative magnetoresistance with a peak at around 100 K. The underlying physics is explained on the basis of the large polarization of surface spins and variation in the degree of their misalignments due to temperature-dependent effective anisotropy.
  3. New magnetic materials for energy and information-processing applications are of paramount importance in view of significant global challenges in environmental and information security. The discovery and design of materials requires efficient computational and experimental approaches for high throughput and efficiency. When increasingly powerful computational techniques are combined with special non-equilibrium fabrication methods, the search can uncover metastable compounds with desired magnetic properties. Here we review recent results on novel Fe-, Co- and Mn-rich magnetic compounds with high magnetocrystalline anisotropy, saturation magnetization, and Curie temperature created by combining experiments, adaptive genetic algorithm searches, and advanced electronic-structure computational methods. We discuss structural and magnetic properties of such materials including Co– and/or Fe–X compounds (X = N, Si, Sn, Zr, Hf, Y, C, S, Ti, or Mn), and their prospects for practical applications.