Nanosize effect: Enhanced compensation temperature and existence of magnetodielectric coupling in SmFeO3
AbstractIn transition metal oxides, quantum confinement arising from a large surface to volume ratio often gives rise to novel physicochemical properties at nanoscale. Their size-dependent properties have potential applications in diverse areas, including therapeutics, imaging, electronic devices, communication systems, sensors, and catalysis. We have analyzed the structural, magnetic, dielectric, and thermal properties of weakly ferromagnetic SmFeO3 nanoparticles of sizes of about 55 and 500 nm. The nanometer-size particles exhibit several distinct features that are neither observed in their larger-size variants nor reported previously for the single crystals. In particular, for the 55-nm particle, we observe a sixfold enhancement of compensation temperature, an unusual rise in susceptibility in the temperature range 550 to 630 K due to spin pinning, and a coupled antiferromagnetic-ferroelectric transition, directly observed in the dielectric constant.