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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
Bimagnetic nanoparticles show promise for applications in energy efficient magnetic storage media and magnetic device applications. The magnetic properties, including the exchange bias of nanostructured materials can be tuned by variation of the size, composition, and morphology of the core vs overlayer of the nanoparticles (NPs). The purpose of this study is to investigate the optimal synthesis routes, structure and magnetic properties of novel CoO/NiFe 2 O 4 heterostructured nanocrystals (HNCs). In this work, we aim to examine how the size impacts the exchange bias, coercivity and other magnetic properties of the CoO/NiFe 2 O 4 HNCs. The nanoparticles with sizes ranging from 10 nm to 24 nm were formed by synthesis of an antiferromagnetic (AFM) CoO core and deposition of a ferrimagnetic (FiM) NiFe 2 O 4 overlayer. A highly crystalline magnetic phase is more likely to occur when the morphology of the core-overgrowth is present, which enhances the coupling at the AFM-FiM interface. The CoO core NPs are prepared using thermal decomposition of Co(OH) 2 at 600 °C for 2 hours in a pure argon atmosphere, whereas the HNCs are obtained first using thermal evaporation followed by hydrothermal synthesis. The structural and morphological characterization made using X-ray diffraction (XRD), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) techniques verifies that the HNCs are comprised of a CoO core and a NiFe 2 O 4 overgrowth phase. Rietveld refinement of the XRD data shows that the CoO core has the rocksalt (Fd3 m) crystal structure and the NiFe 2 O 4 overgrowth has the spinel (C12/m1) crystal structure. SEM-EDS data indicates the presence and uniform distribution of Co, Ni and Fe in the HNCs. The results from PPMS magnetization measurements of the CoO/NiFe 2 O 4 HNCs are discussed herein.more » « less