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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
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 AsO 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
We combined optical and atomic force microscopy to observe morphology and kinetics of microstructures (typically referred to as bees) that formed at free surfaces of unmodified Performance Graded (PG) 64‐22 asphalt binders upon cooling from 150°C to room temperature (RT) at 5°C min–1, and changes in these microstructures when the surface was terminated with a transparent solid (glass) or liquid (glycerol) overlayer. The main findings are: (1) at free binder surfaces, wrinkled microstructures started to form near the crystallization temperature (∼45°C) of saturates such as wax observed by differential scanning calorimetry, then grew to ∼5 µm diameter, ∼25 nm wrinkle amplitude and 10–30% surface area coverage upon cooling to RT, where they persisted indefinitely without observable change in shape or density. (2) Glycerol coverage of the binder surface during cooling reduced wrinkled area and wrinkle amplitude three‐fold compared to free binder surfaces upon initial cooling to RT; continued glycerol coverage at RT eliminated most surface microstructures within ∼4 h. (3) No surface microstructures were observed to form at binder surfaces covered with glass. (4) Submicron bulk microstructures were observed by near‐infrared microscopy beneath the surfaces of all binder samples, with size, shape and density independent of surface coverage. No tendency of such structures to float to the top or sink to the bottom of mm‐thick samples was observed. (5) We attribute the dependence of surface wrinkling on surface coverage to variation in interface tension, based on a thin‐film continuum mechanics model.
Asphalt binder, or bitumen, is the glue that holds aggregate particles together to form a road surface. It is derived from the heavy residue that remains after distilling gasoline, diesel and other lighter products out of crude oil. Nevertheless, bitumen varies widely in composition and mechanical properties. To avoid expensive road failures, bitumen must be processed after distillation so that its mechanical properties satisfy diverse climate and load requirements. International standards now guide these mechanical properties, but yield varying long‐term performance as local source composition and preparation methods vary.
In situdiagnostic methods that can predict bitumen performance independently of processing history are therefore needed. The present work focuses on one promising diagnostic candidate: microscopic observation of internal bitumen structure. Past bitumen microscopy has revealed microstructures of widely varying composition, size, shape and density. A challenge is distinguishing bulk microstructures, which directly influence a binder's mechanical properties, from surface microstructures, which often dominate optical microscopy because of bitumen's opacity and scanning‐probe microscopy because of its inherent surface specificity. In previously published work, we used infrared microscopy to enhance visibility of bulk microstructure. Here, as a foil to this work, we use visible‐wavelength microscopy together with atomic‐force microscopy (AFM) specifically to isolate surfacemicrostructure, to understand its distinct origin and morphology, and to demonstrate its unique sensitivity to surface alterations. To this end, optical microscopy complements AFM by enabling us to observe surface microstructures form at temperatures (50°C–70°C) at which bitumen's fluidity prevents AFM, and to observe surface microstructure beneath transparent, but chemically inert, liquid (glycerol) and solid (glass) overlayers, which alter surface tension compared to free surfaces. From this study, we learned, first, that, as bitumen cools, distinctly wrinkled surface microstructures form at the same temperature at which independent calorimetric studies showed crystallization in bitumen, causing it to release latent heat of crystallization. This shows that surface microstructures are likely precipitates of the crystallizable component(s). Second, a glycerol overlayer on the cooling bitumen results in smaller, less wrinkled, sparser microstructures, whereas a glass overlayer suppresses them altogether. In contrast, underlying smaller bulk microstructures are unaffected. This shows that surface tension is the driving force behind formation and wrinkling of surface precipitates. Taken together, the work advances our ability to diagnose bitumen samples noninvasively by clearly distinguishing surface from bulk microstructure.
New optical materials with efficient luminescence and scintillation properties have drawn a great deal of attention due to the demand for optoelectronic devices and medical theranostics. Their nanomaterials are expected to reduce the cost while incrementing the efficiency for potential lighting and scintillator applications. In this study, we have developed praseodymium-doped lanthanum hafnate (La 2 Hf 2 O 7 :Pr 3+ ) pyrochlore nanoparticles (NPs) using a combined co-precipitation and relatively low-temperature molten salt synthesis procedure. XRD and Raman investigations confirmed ordered pyrochlore phase for the as-synthesized undoped and Pr 3+ -doped La 2 Hf 2 O 7 NPs. The emission profile displayed the involvement of both the 3 P 0 and 1 D 2 states in the photoluminescence process, however, the intensity of the emission from the 1 D 2 states was found to be higher than that from the 3 P 0 states. This can have a huge implication on the design of novel red phosphors for possible application in solid-state lighting. As a function of the Pr 3+ concentration, we found that the 0.1%Pr 3+ doped La 2 Hf 2 O 7 NPs possessed the strongest emission intensity with a quantum yield of 20.54 ± 0.1%. The concentration quenching, in this case, is mainly induced by the cross-relaxation process 3 P 0 + 3 H 4 → 1 D 2 + 3 H 6 . Emission kinetics studies showed that the fast decaying species arise because of the Pr 3+ ions occupying the Hf 4+ sites, whereas the slow decaying species can be attributed to the Pr 3+ ions occupying the La 3+ sites in the pyrochlore structure of La 2 Hf 2 O 7 . X-ray excited luminescence (XEL) showed a strong red-light emission, which showed that the material is a promising scintillator for radiation detection. In addition, the photon counts were found to be much higher when the NPs are exposed to X-rays when compared to ultraviolet light. Altogether, these La 2 Hf 2 O 7 :Pr 3+ NPs have great potential as a good down-conversion phosphor as well as scintillator material.more » « less
While induced spin polarization of a palladium (Pd) overlayer on antiferromagnetic and magneto-electric Cr2O3(0001) is possible because of the boundary polarization at the Cr2O3(0001), in the single domain state, the Pd thin film appears to be ferromagnetic on its own, likely as a result of strain. In the conduction band, we find the experimental evidence of ferromagnetic spin polarized in Pd thin films on a Cr2O3(0001) single crystal, especially in the thin limit, Pd thickness of around 1–4 nm. Indeed there is significant spin polarization in 10 Å thick Pd films on Cr2O3(0001) at 310 K, i.e. above the Néel temperature of bulk Cr2O3. While Cr2O3(0001) has surface moments that tend to align along the surface normal, for Pd on Cr2O3, the spin polarization contains an in-plane component. Strain in the Pd adlayer on Cr2O3(0001) appears correlated to the spin polarization measured in spin polarized inverse photoemission spectroscopy. Further evidence for magnetization of Pd on Cr2O3is provided by measurement of the exchange bias fields in Cr2O3/Pd(buffer)/[Co/Pd]
nexchange bias systems. The magnitude of the exchange bias field is, over a wide temperature range, virtually unaffected by the Pd thickness variation between 1 and 2 nm.