We observed asymmetric critical slowing down and asymmetric dynamical scaling exponent in the superheating and supercooling kinetic processes during the thermally-induced metal-insulator transition of MnNiSn based Heusler alloy. During the transition to the insulator phase, the critical-like features get enhanced compared to the transition back to the metal phase. These experimental findings suggest that the metastable phase in the cooling branch of hysteresis has approached close to the spinodal instability. On the other hand, the extended disorder, generated over and above the intrinsic crystal defects during heating, triggers the excess heterogeneous nucleation before reaching the spinodal point. Zero-temperature random field Ising model (ZTRFIM) simulation, inscribed for the athermal martensitic transitions, supports the argument that the disorder smears the spinodal instabilities as the correlation length is bounded by the average distance between the disorder points.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics