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Magnetic Study of CuFe2O4-SiO2 Aerogel and Xerogel Nano-composites

Gaumet, Alize V., Caddeo, Francesco, Loche, Danilo, Corrias, Anna, Casula, Maria F., Falqui, Andrea, Casu, Alberto (2021) Magnetic Study of CuFe2O4-SiO2 Aerogel and Xerogel Nano-composites. Nanomaterials, 11 (10). Article Number 2680. ISSN 2079-4991. E-ISSN 2079-4991. (doi:10.3390/nano11102680) (KAR id:90663)


CuFe2O4 is an example of ferrites whose physico-chemical properties can vary greatly at the nanoscale. Here, sol-gel techniques are used to produce CuFe2O4-SiO2 nanocomposites where copper ferrite nanocrystals are grown within a porous dielectric silica matrix. Nanocomposites in the form of both xerogels and aerogels with variable loadings of copper ferrite (5 wt%, 10 wt% and 15 wt%) were synthesized. Transmission Electron Microscopy and X-Ray Diffraction investigations showed the occurrence of CuFe2O4 nanoparticles with average crystal size ranging from a few nanometers up to around 9 nm, homogeneously distributed within the porous silica matrix, after thermal treatment of the samples at 900°C. Evidence of some impurities of CuO and -Fe2O3 was found in the aerogel samples with 10 wt% and 15 wt% loading. DC magnetometry was used to investigate the magnetic properties of these nanocomposites, as a function of the loading of copper ferrite and of the porosity characteristics. All the nanocomposites show blocking temperature lower than RT and soft magnetic features at low temperature. The observed magnetic parameters are interpreted taking into account the occurrence of size and interaction effects in an ensemble of superparamagnetic nanoparticles distributed in a matrix. These results highlight how aerogel and xerogel matrices give rise to nanocomposites with different magnetic features and how the spatial distribution of the nanophase in the matrices modifies the final magnetic properties with respect to the case of conventional unsupported nanoparticles.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.3390/nano11102680
Uncontrolled keywords: copper ferrite; magnetic properties; sol-gel; aerogels; xerogels.
Subjects: Q Science > QD Chemistry
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Chemistry and Forensics
Depositing User: Anna Corrias
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2021 15:40 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2024 21:22 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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