skip to main content

Title: Synthesis of colloidal MnAs x Sb 1−x nanoparticles: compositional inhomogeneity and magnetic consequences
The ternary manganese pnictide phases, MnAs 1− x Sb x , are of interest for magnetic refrigeration and waste heat recovery due to their magnetocaloric properties, maximized at the Curie temperature ( T C ), which varies from 580–240 K, depending on composition. Nanoparticles potentially enable application in microelectronics (cooling) or graded composites that can operate over a wide temperature range, but manganese pnictides are synthetically challenging to realize as discrete nanoparticles and their fundamental magnetic properties have not been extensively studied. Accordingly, colloidal synthesis methods were employed to target discrete MnAs x Sb 1− x nanoparticles ( x = 0.1–0.9) by arrested precipitation reactions of Mn 2 (CO) 10 with (C 6 H 5 ) 3 AsO and (C 6 H 5 ) 3 Sb in coordinating solvents. The MnAs x Sb 1− x particles are spherical in morphology with average diameters 10–13 nm (standard deviations <20% based on transmission electron microscopy analysis). X-Ray fluorescence spectroscopy measurements on ensembles showed that all phases had an excess of Sb relative to the targeted composition, whereas energy dispersive spectroscopic mapping data of single particles revealed that the nanoparticles are inhomogeneous, adopting a core–shell structure, with the amorphous shell rich in Mn and O (and sometimes Sb) while the crystalline core is rich in Mn, As, and Sb. Magnetization measurements of the nanoparticle ensemble demonstrated the presence of both ferromagnetic and paramagnetic phases. By combining the magnetization measurements with precision chemical mapping and simple modeling, we were able to unambiguously attribute ferromagnetism to the MnAs x Sb 1− x crystalline core, whereas paramagnetism was attributed to the amorphous shell. Magnetization measurements at variable temperatures were used to determine the superparamagnetic transition of the nanoparticles, although for some compositions and particle sizes the blocking temperature exceeded room temperature. Preliminary magnetic studies also revealed a conventional dependence between core size and coercivity, in spite of variable compositions of the nanoparticles, an unexpected result.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Materials Chemistry C
Page Range / eLocation ID:
13292 to 13303
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Aqueous zinc ion batteries (ZIBs) are emerging as a highly promising alternative technology for grid-scale applications where high safety, environmental-friendliness, and high specific capacities are needed. It remains a significant challenge, however, to develop a cathode with a high rate capability and long-term cycling stability. Here, we demonstrate diffusion-controlled behavior in the intercalation of zinc ions into highly porous, Mn 4+ -rich, and low-band-gap Ni x Mn 3−x O 4 nano-particles with a carbon matrix formed in situ (with the composite denoted as Ni x Mn 3−x O 4 @C, x = 1), which exhibits superior rate capability (139.7 and 98.5 mA h g −1 at 50 and 1200 mA g −1 , respectively) and outstanding cycling stability (128.8 mA h g −1 remaining at 400 mA g −1 after 850 cycles). Based on the obtained experimental results and density functional theory (DFT) calculations, cation-site Ni substitution combined with a sufficient doping concentration can decrease the band gap and effectively improve the electronic conductivity in the crystal. Furthermore, the amorphous carbon shell and highly porous Mn 4+ -rich structure lead to fast electron transport and short Zn 2+ diffusion paths in a mild aqueous electrolyte. This study provides an example of a technique to optimize cathode materials for high-performance rechargeable ZIBs and design advanced intercalation-type materials for other energy storage devices. 
    more » « less
  2. To investigate the influence of manganese substitution on the saturation magnetization of manganese ferrite nanoparticles, samples with various compositions (MnxFe3−xO4,x = 0, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, and 1) were synthesized and characterized. The saturation magnetization of such materials was both calculated using density functional theory and measured via vibrating sample magnetometry. A discrepancy was found; the computational data demonstrated a positive correlation between manganese content and saturation magnetization, while the experimental data exhibited an inverse correlation. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and magnetometry results indicated that the crystallite diameter and the magnetic diameter decrease when adding more manganese, which could explain the loss of magnetization of the particles. For 20 nm nanoparticles, with increasing manganese substitution level, the crystallite size decreases from 10.9 nm to 6.3 nm and the magnetic diameter decreases from 15.1 nm to 3.5 nm. Further high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) analysis confirmed the manganese substitution induced defects in the crystal lattice, which encourages us to find ways of eliminating crystalline defects to make more reliable ferrite nanoparticles. 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    The quinary members in the solid solution Hf2Fe1−δRu5−xIrx+δB2(x=1–4, VE=63–66) have been investigated experimentally and computationally. They were synthesized via arc‐melting and analyzed by EDX and X‐ray diffraction. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations predicted a preference for magnetic ordering in all members, but with a strong competition between ferro‐ and antiferromagnetism arising from interchain Fe−Fe interactions. The spin exchange and magnetic anisotropy energies predicted the lowest magnetic hardness forx=1 and 3 and the highest forx=2. Magnetization measurements confirm the DFT predictions and demonstrate that the antiferromagnetic ordering (TN=55–70 K) found at low magnetic fields changed to ferromagnetic (TC=150–750 K) at higher fields, suggesting metamagnetic behavior for all samples. As predicted, Hf2FeRu3Ir2B2has the highest intrinsic coercivity (Hc=74 kA/m) reported to date for Ti3Co5B2‐type phases. Furthermore, all coercivities outperform that of ferromagnetic Hf2FeIr5B2, indicating the importance of AFM interactions in enhancing magnetic anisotropy in these materials. Importantly, two members (x=1 and 4) maintain intrinsic coercivities in the semi‐hard range at room temperature. This study opens an avenue for controlling magnetic hardness by modulating antagonistic AFM and FM interactions in low‐dimensional rare‐earth‐free magnetic materials.

    more » « less
  4. Germanium telluride is a high performing thermoelectric material that additionally serves as a base for alloys such as GeTe–AgSbTe 2 and GeTe–PbTe. Such performance motivates exploration of other GeTe alloys in order understand the impact of site substitution on electron and phonon transport. In this work, we consider the root causes of the high thermoelectric performance material Ge 1− x Mn x Te. Along this alloy line, the crystal structure, electronic band structure, and electron and phonon scattering all depend heavily on the Mn content. Structural analysis of special quasirandom alloy structures indicate the thermodynamic stability of the rock salt phase over the rhombohedral phase with increased Mn incorporation. Effective band structure calculations indicate band convergence, the emergence of new valence band maxima, and strong smearing at the band edge with increased Mn content in both phases. High temperature measurements on bulk polycrystalline samples show a reduction in hole mobility and a dramatic increase in effective mass with respect to increasing Mn content. In contrast, synthesis as a function of tellurium chemical potential does not significantly impact electronic properties. Thermal conductivity shows a minimum near the rhombohedral to cubic phase transition, while the Mn Ge point defect scattering is weak as indicated by the low K L dependence on the Ge–Mn fraction (Fig. 10). From this work, alloys near this phase transition show optimal performance due to low thermal conductivity, moderate effective mass, and low scattering rates compared to Mn-rich compositions. 
    more » « less
  5. In this work, we investigate the synthesis, along with the structural and magnetic properties, of novel Mn-Co-NiO-based heterostructured nanocrystals (HNCs). The objective is to develop novel, well-structurally ordered inverted antiferromagnetic (AFM) NiO–ferrimagnetic (FiM) spinel phase overgrowth HNCs. Inverted HNCs are particularly promising for magnetic device applications because their magnetic properties are more easily controlled by having well-ordered AFM cores, which can result in magnetic structures having large coercivities, tunable blocking temperatures, and other enhanced magnetic effects. The synthesis of the HNCs is accomplished using a two-step process: In the first step, NiO nanoparticles are synthesized using a thermal decomposition method. Subsequently, Mn-Co overgrowth phases are grown on the NiO nanoparticles via hydrothermal nanophase epitaxy, using a fixed pH level (∼5.3) of the aqueous medium. This pH level was selected based on previous work in our laboratory showing that NiO/Mn 3 O 4 HNCs of constant size have optimal coercivity and exchange bias when synthesized at a pH of 5.0. The crystalline structure and gross morphology of the Mn-Co-NiO-based HNCs have been analyzed using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) techniques, respectively. Analysis using these techniques shows that the HNCs are composed of a NiO core and a CoMn 2 O 4 overgrowth phase. Rietveld refinement of XRD data shows that the NiO core has the rocksalt (Fm[Formula: see text]m) cubic crystal structure and the CoMn 2 O 4 overgrowth has the spinel ( I4 1 / amd) crystal structure. Moreover, an increased relative amount of the CoMn 2 O 4 overgrowth phase is deposited with decreasing NiO core particle size during the synthesis of the HNCs. The results from PPMS magnetization and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) characterization of the Mn-Co-NiO-based HNCs are discussed herein. 
    more » « less