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Electrical Properties of Fe–Fe3O4–SiO2Gel Nanocomposites

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Nanocomposites containing Fe3O4 and α-Fe, respectively, in a SiO2 gel were prepared by subjecting a suitably chosen gel with iron ions to a reduction treatment at 923 K, followed by wet oxidation at the same temperature for 1 hour. The particle sizes of the two phases were estimated to have values in the range of 18 to 25 nm. The dc conductivity of the composites was found to arise due to a variable range hopping mechanism with a density of states calculated as ~1018 eV-1 cc-1. The nanoparticles of α-Fe are believed to contribute to the latter. The ac conductivity variation as a function of frequency and temperature could be explained because of an overlapping small polaron tunneling mechanism in the Fe3O4 nanoparticles. The density of states estimated in the latter case was ~1018 eV-1 cc-1. From the dielectric modulus spectra of the nanocomposites, a Kohlrausch Williams Watts (KWW) exponent of ~0.30 was extracted. This indicated the presence of a wide distribution of relaxation times in the system.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2004-09-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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