Spinel ferrites constitute one of the most important families of magnets; their properties are believed to be highly dependent on cation occupancy. Zinc ferrite materials synthesized by various methods are usually reported to exhibit enhanced magnetism, but the mechanism underlying such enhancement remains poorly understood, with at least three effects being considered, namely cation distribution, oxygen vacancies, and surface spin disorder. We report herein the individual influence of cation distribution on the magnetic properties of zinc ferrite microparticles, synthesized by solid-state reaction with a fast (200 K/s) quench process. Based on structure analyses including x-ray powder diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Mössbauer spectroscopy, and magnetic measurements, it is concluded that the as-prepared samples exhibited different cation distribution with inversion degree increasing from approximately 0.18 to 0.28 with increasing calcination temperature from 800°C to 1200°C. The magnetism measured at 2 K was found to be enhanced with increase of the inversion degree, while that measured at 300 K was found to be independent of inversion degree. The mechanism of the enhanced magnetization is that the indirect interaction between A and B site at low temperature is stronger than that between two nearest B sites.
Journal of Electronic Materials – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 13, 2018
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