Exchange Spring Behaviour in Magnetic Oxides
When a permanent magnet is considered for an application, the quantity that quantifies the usability of that material is the magnetic energy product (BH)max. In today’s world, rare earth transition metal permanent magnets like Nd-Fe-B, Sm-Co possesses the maximum magnetic energy product. But still for the industrial application, the ferrite permanent magnets are the primary choice over these rare transition metal magnets. Thus, in the present context, the magnetic energy product of the low cost ferrite system makes it unsuitable for the high magnetic energy application. In this regard, exchange spring magnets which combine the magnetization of the soft phase and coercivity of the hard magnetic phases become important in enhancing the magnetic energy product of the system. In this thesis, the exchange spring behaviour is reported for the first time in hard/soft oxide nanocomposites by microstructural tailoring of hard Barium Ferrite and soft Nickel Zinc Ferrite particles. We have analyzed the magnetization reversal and its correlation with the coercivity mechanism in the Ni0.8Zn0.2Fe2O4/BaFe12O19 exchange spring systems. Using this exchange spring concept, we could enhance the magnetic energy product in Iron Oxide/ Barium Calcium Ferrite nanocomposites compared to the bare hard ferrite by ~13%. The presence of the exchange interaction in this nanocomposite is confirmed by the Henkel plot. Moreover, a detailed Reitveld study, magnetization loop and corresponding variation of the magnetic energy product, Henkel plot analysis and First Order Reversal Curve analysis are performed on nanocomposites of hard Strontium Ferrite and soft Cobalt Ferrite. We have proved the exchange spring behaviour in this composite. In addition, we could successfully tailor the magnetization behaviour of the soft Cobalt Ferrite- hard Strontium Ferrite nanocomposite from non exchange spring behaviour to exchange spring behaviour, by tuning the size of the soft Cobalt Ferrite in the Cobalt Ferrite/Strontium Ferrite nanocomposite. The relative strength of the interaction governing the magnetization process in the composites has been studied using Henkel plot and First Order Reversal Curve method. The FORC method has been utilized to understand the magnetization reversal behaviour as well as the extent of the irreversible magnetization present in both the nanocomposites, having smaller and larger particle size of the Cobalt Ferrite. It has been found that for the all the studied composites, the pinning is the dominant process for magnetization reversal. The detailed structural analysis using thin film XRD, angle dependent magnetic hysteresis and remanent coercivity measurement, coercivity mechanism by micromagnetic analysis and First Order Reversal Curve analysis are performed for thin films of Strontium Ferrite which are grown on c-plane alumina using Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) at two different oxygen partial pressures. The magnetic easy directions of both the films lie in the out of plane direction where as the in plane direction corresponds to the magnetic hard direction. Depending on the oxygen partial pressure during deposition, the magnetization reversal changes from S-W type reversal to Kondorsky kind of reversal. Thus, the growth parameter for the Strontium Ferrite single layer which will be used further as a hard layer for realizing oxide exchange spring in oxide multilayer, is optimized. The details of the magnetic and structural properties are analyzed for Nickel Zinc Ferrite thin film grown on (100) MgAl2O4. We have obtained an epitaxial growth of Nickel Zinc Ferrite by tuning the growth parameters of PLD deposition. The ferromagnetic resonance and the angle dependent hysteresis loop suggest that, the magnetic easy direction for the soft Nickel Zinc Ferrite lie in the film plane whereas the out of plane direction is the magnetic hard direction. Using the growth condition of respective Nickel Zinc Ferrite and Strontium Ferrite, we have realized the exchange spring behaviour for the first time in the trilayer structure of SrFe12O19 (20 nm)/Ni0.8Zn0.2Fe2O4(20 nm)/ SrFe12O19 (20 nm) grown on c-plane alumina (Al2O3) using PLD. The FORC distribution for this trilayer structure shows the single switching behaviour, corresponding to the exchange spring behaviour. The reversible ridge measurement shows that the reversible and the irreversible part of the magnetizations are not coupled with each other.
- Physics (PHY) 
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