Magnetic nanoparticles (NPs) have the potential to be useful in a variety of applications such as biomedical instruments, catalysis, sensing, recording information, etc. These nanoparticles exhibit remarkably different properties compared to their bulk counter parts. Synthesis of magnetic NPs with the right morphology, phase, size and surface functionality, as well as their usage for specific applications are challenging in terms of efficiency and safety. Morphology wise, there have been numerous reports on magnetic nanoparticles where morphologies such as core/shell, hollow, solid, etc., have been explored. It has been shown that morphology affects the magnetic response. Achieving the right crystal structure with required morphology and the magnetic behavior of the nanoparticle phases determines the magnetic response of the structure. For example, in the case of core/shell NPs various ferromagnetic (FM), ferrimagnetic (FiM), and antiferromagnetic (AFM) core and shell combinations have been reported. In these cases, interesting and strikingly different features, such as unusually high spin glass transition temperature, large exchange bias, finite size effects, magnetic proximity effects, unusual trend of blocking temperature as function of average crystal size, etc., have been reported.
More specifically, the morphology of core/shell nanoparticles provides added degrees of freedom compared to conventional solid magnetic nanoparticles, including variations in the size, phase and material of the core and shell of the particle, etc. which helps enhance their magnetic properties. Similar to traditional core/shell nanoparticles, inverted core/shell having a FiM or FM order above the Curie temperature (TC) of the shell has been reported where the Néel temperature (TN) is comparable with the bulk value and there is nonmonotonic dependence of the coercive field (HC) and exchange bias (HEB) on the core diameter.
In addition to the core/shell morphology, nanoparticles with hollow morphology are also of interest to the scientific community. For such cases, surface spin glass transition enhancements have been reported due to the presence of the additional inner surface. CoFe2O4, NiFe 2O4 and γ-Fe2O3 hollow nanoparticles exhibit strikingly contrasting magnetic behavior compared to bulk and conventional solid particles; similar behavior was also observed in core/shell nanoparticles. Structurally, hollow polycrystalline nanoparticles are composed of multiple crystallographic domains. This random orientation of the crystallographic domains also causes randomization of the local anisotropy axes. Hence the overall effect of this morphology on the magnetic properties is exhibited through the high coercivity, relatively high temperature magnetic irreversibility, lack of magnetic saturation, high blocking temperature, etc.
Over the years, extensive work on core/shell nanoparticles have been carried out to understand their exchange bias phenomenon and the effect on coercivity. Recently, focus has been given to hollow polycrystalline nanoparticles for the reason mentioned above. This thesis investigates the root cause for the above-mentioned effects on the coercivity and exchange bias. Since hollow nanoparticles with polycrystalline structure have shown to exhibit different and improved magnetic behavior compared to bulk and other conventional solid particles, they will be the focus of our investigation. First, extensive field and temperature dependent magnetic study on polycrystalline hollow nickel ferrite (NiFe2O4) have revealed the effect of the presence of inner surface in a single oxide nanoparticle. Second, the effect of having multiple oxides with different magnetic properties (i.e. FM and AFM) in a single nanoparticle, while maintaining a hollow morphology was investigated by studying polycrystalline hollow γ-Mn2O3 and MnO nanoparticles. Studies on various conventional solid manganese oxide nanoparticles have already been reported. Therefore, focus was only made on the fabrication and magnetic study of hollow polycrystalline manganese oxide, with a comparison of the results to those from solid nanoparticles already available in literature. A conclusion was drawn to the importance of the coupling of different magnetic phases (i.e. FM and AFM, FiM and AFM, or SG and AFM), in contrast to just having one single oxide in the hollow nanoparticles. Finally, the importance of this coupling as compared to the increase of surface-to-volume ratio was evaluated in CoO/Co3O4/CoFe2O4 polycrystalline hollow nanoparticles by varying the AFM phase (CoO/Co 3O4) in the nanoparticles and observing how the magnetic properties varied. This system helped address the effect of the coupling between different magnetic phases, super-exchange interaction, and proximity effect.
|Advisor:||Shah, S. Ismat|
|Commitee:||Ni, Chaoying, Opila, Robert, Xiao, John|
|School:||University of Delaware|
|Department:||Materials Science and Engineering|
|School Location:||United States -- Delaware|
|Source:||DAI-B 79/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Physics, Materials science|
|Keywords:||Coercivity, Exchange bias, Hollow morphology, Magnetic coupling, Nanoparticles|
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