Influence of annealing treatment on magnetic properties of Fe2O3/SiO2 and formation of epsilon-Fe2O3 phase
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AuthorsNikolić, Violeta N.
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Magnetic properties of Fe2O3/SiO2 samples were studied after being produced by sol-gel synthesis and formation of epsilon-Fe2O3 polymorph. Samples were thermally treated, using different annealing temperatures and annealing times. The size and morphological characteristics of the iron oxide nanoparticles were examined using a TEM microscope. We used the ellipticity of shapes, which is a measure of how much the shape of a nanoparticle differs from a perfect ellipse, in order to quantitatively describe morphological properties of nanoparticles. Coercivity measurements were used to identify and monitor the formation of the epsilon-iron oxide phase during the thermal treatments (annealing). Coercivity values were in the range from 1.2 to 15.4 kOe, which is in accordance with previous experience regarding the existence of epsilon-Fe2O3. We have determined the optimal formation conditions for the epsilon-Fe2O3 polymorph (t=1050 degrees C for 7 h, H-c=15.4 kOe), as well as the narrow temperat...ure interval (1050-1060 C) in which the polymorph abruptly vanished (H-c=2300 Oe), on the basis of results of the magnetic properties. The threshold temperature for the epsilon-Fe2O3 phase transformation was measured as 1060 degrees C. We found that different annealing temperatures and annealing times significantly affected magnetic properties of the examined samples.