Multilayer route to iron nanoparticle formation in an insulating matrix

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1063/1.2434953
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TypeArticle
Journal titleJournal of Applied Physics
Volume101
Issue3
Pages034314-1034314-7; # of pages: 7
Subjectannealing; coercive force; electron energy loss spectra; ferromagnetic materials; iron; Kerr magneto-optical effect; magnetic particles; multilayers; nanoparticles; oxidation; particle size; silicon compounds; transmission electron microscopy
AbstractWell-protected, isolated bcc-iron nanoparticles embedded in silicon dioxide were prepared by e-beam evaporation and postannealing of multilayers in an ultrahigh vacuum system. The spherical shape and isolation of the particles were confirmed by plan-view and cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy. Oxidation was evaluated from the electron energy-loss near edge structure. In this technique, a postedge peak of 40 eV above the iron L3 threshold, originating from backscattering of oxygen atoms, provides a clear indication of iron oxide. The white-line ratio (WLR), measuring the 3d-orbital occupancy, is used to estimate the oxidation-layer thickness. In the samples of large iron nanoparticles (with average diameter larger than 10 nm), a very thin surface layer appears to be the oxide maghemite, approximately one atomic layer according to the WLR evaluations. The evolution of the coercivity with particle size, as measured by the magneto-optical Kerr effect, shows that the reversal process is dominated by the surface anisotropy and is also affected by the dipole interaction, particularly in samples with large volume-filling factor.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNRC National Institute for Nanotechnology; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number287
NPARC number8926354
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Record identifier59e94f7f-897b-4728-b309-542be55008a3
Record created2009-04-23
Record modified2016-05-09
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