The critical behavior and magnetocaloric effect of Mn5Ge3, Mn4.75Co0.25Ge3 and Mn4.75Fe0.25Ge3 were investigated. The critical exponents of β = 0.368 and γ = 1.312 for Mn5Ge3 were in good agreement with the values predicted by the 3D Heisenberg model whereas for Mn4.75Co0.25Ge3 (β = 0.379, γ = 1.037) and Mn4.75Fe0.25Ge3 (β = 0.365, γ = 1.055) there a large deviation for the γ values from the Heisenberg model. Curie temperatures and magnetic entropy, ΔSM, however, were in accordance with the β values of the three alloys. The respective peak ΔSM for Mn5Ge3, Mn4.75Co0.25Ge3 and Mn4.75Fe0.25Ge3 was 4.96, 4.67, and 5.11 J/kg K under an external field change of 3 T. The ΔSM – T curves for the three alloys collapsed onto a single master curve regardless of the composition and the applied field. It was also demonstrated that the universal behavior with the critical exponents can be used to extrapolate the ΔSM – T curve to fields experimentally unavailable.
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