Magnetic Properties of Magnetically Soft Nanocomposite Co–SiO2 Prepared via Mechanical Milling
Nanocomposite of Co–SiO2, a soft magnetic material, with Co weight fraction x = 0.3 and 0.7 was prepared via mechanical milling. The magnetic properties of these samples, both zero-field-cooled (ZFC) and field-cooled (FC), have been measured as a function of x, milling time, and temperature. The structural assessment of the composite indicates a presence of only ferromagnetic (FM) hcp-Co phase in the composite. However, reported magnetic properties of these composites appear to be dependent on the presence of antiferromagnetic (AFM) phases of cobalt oxide as well. The observed enhancement in ZFC coercivity and a reduction in saturation magnetization with the milling time are due to an increase in defect density upon milling. The ZFC coercivity for the x = 0.3 samples has been found to be much higher than the x = 0.7 samples for all milling times. The coercivity above 50 K depends on temperature according to the law corresponding to isotropic uniaxial superparamagnetic particles. Below 50 K the presence of an AFM phase Co3O4 (T N ∼33 K) and increased interparticle interactions bring in a departure from that law. The saturation magnetization is found to be temperature dependent for the x = 0.3 samples and temperature independent for the x = 0.7 samples, which further provides evidence of the presence of higher AFM phase fraction in the composite with a low metal volume fraction. The FC magnetic measurements show a presence of an exchange bias field and an enhanced coercivity which are higher than the ZFC measurements. All magnetic measurements indicate that the overall magnetic properties of the composite are dictated by the presence of a trace amount of cobalt oxides.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2005-12-01
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