Magnetic properties of Mn-oxide nanoparticles dispersed in an amorphous SiO2 matrix
MetadataShow full item record
Samples of Mn-oxide nanoparticles dispersed in an amorphous SiO2 matrix with manganese concentration 0.7 and 3 at% have been synthesized by a sol-gel method. Transmission electron microscopy analysis has shown that the samples contain agglomerates of amorphous silica particles 10-20 nm in size. Insilica matrix two types of Mn-rich particles are dispersed, smaller nanoparticles with dimensions between 3 and 10 nm, and larger crystalline areas consisting of aggregates of the smaller nanoparticles. High temperature magnetic susceptibility study reveals that dominant magnetic phase at higher temperatures is lambda-MnO2. At temperatures below T-C = 43 K strong ferrimagnetism originating from the minor Mn3O4 phase masks the relatively weak magnetism of lambda-MnO2 with antiferromagnetic interactions. Magnetic field dependence of the maximum in the zero-field-cooled magnetization for both the samples in the vicinity of 40 K, and a frequency shift of the real component of the ac magnetic susce...ptibility in the sample with 3 at% Mn suggest that the magnetic moments of the smaller Mn3O4 nanoparticles with dimensions below 10 nm are exposed to thermally activated blocking process just below the Curie temperature T-C. Appearance of a maximum in the zero-field-cooled magnetization for both the samples below 10 K indicates possible spin glass freezing of the magnetic moments at low temperatures which might occur in the geometrically frustrated Mn sublattice of the lambda-MnO2 crystal structure. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.