Magnetization, Magnetotransport And Electron Magnetic Resonance Studies Of Certain Nanoscale Manganites
Rao, S Srinivasa
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Perovskite rare-earth manganites of the form R1-xAxMnO3 (R – rare earth ion or Bi, A – Ca,Sr) have drawn an overwhelming research interest during the last few years owing to their extraordinary physical properties. Some of the interesting phenomena exhibited by the manganites are (a) colossal magneotresistance (CMR) (b) charge, orbital and spin ordering and (c) phase separation at nano and micron scale. The manganites are strongly correlated systems in which the charge, spin and orbital degrees of freedom are coupled. The properties of these materials are sensitive functions of external stimuli such as the doping, temperature and pressure [1-5] and have been extensively studied both experimentally and theoretically on single crystal, bulk polycrystalline and thin film forms of the samples [6-9]. Recently attention has been drawn towards the properties of nanoscale manganites. The nanoscale materials are expected to behave quite differently from extended solids due to quantum confinement effects and high surface/volume ratio. Nanoscale CMR manganites have been fabricated using diverse methods in the form of particles, wires, tubes and various other forms by different groups. It has been shown that the properties of CMR manganites can be tuned by reducing the particle size down to nanometer range and by changing the morphology [10-14]. The physical properties of antiferromagnetic insulating charge ordered manganites have been well investigated by using numerous experimental techniques on bulk solids. It is known that the charge ordered (CO) phase is ‘melted’ resulting in a ferromagnetic, metallic phase on application of high magnetic fields, electric fields, impurity ion doping, high energetic ion irradiation and by pressure [15-17]. However, no attempts have been made on the fabrication and the physical property investigations on nanoscale charge ordered manganites. Hence, we have undertaken to study the properties of charge ordered manganites prepared at nanoscale using various experimental probes. In this thesis we present the results on magnetization, magnetotransport and Electron Magnetic Resonance (EMR) (electron paramagnetic resonance in the paramagnetic phase and ferromagnetic resonance in the ferromagnetic phase) studies of the following nanoscale compounds and compare the properties with those of their bulk counterparts; (a) highly robust antiferromagnetic insulating CE –type charge ordered manganite Pr0.5Ca0.5MnO3 (PCMO) (b) highly robust antiferromagnetic insulating CE- type charge ordered manganite Nd0.5Ca0.5MnO3 (NCMO) (c) moderately robust A-type charge ordered manganite Pr0.5Sr0.5MnO3 (PSMO) (d) highly robust insulating anti-ferromagnetic charge ordered manganites Bi0.5Ca0.5MnO3 (BCMO) and Bi0.5Sr0.5MnO3 (BSMO) and (e) a CMR manganite Pr0.7Pb0.3MnO3 (PPMO). Chapter 1 of the thesis contains a brief introduction to the general features of manganites describing various interesting phenomena and the interactions underlying them. Further, we have written a detailed review on the properties of nanometric CMR manganites of various sizes and shapes. In this chapter, we have also described the experimental methodology and the analysis procedure adopted in this work Chapter 2 reports the fabrication of nanowires and nanoparticles of Pr0.5Ca0.5MnO3 (PCMO) and the results obtained from magnetization, magnetotransport and electron magnetic resonance measurements performed on nanoscale PCMO along with their comparison with those of the bulk sample. Here, the nanowires of PCMO were prepared by hydrothermal method and the nanoparticles of mean sizes 10, 20 and 40 nm were prepared by polymer assisted sol-gel method. Solid state reaction method was used to prepare the micron sized PCMO bulk material. Different techniques like XRD, TEM, EDAX and ICPAES have been used to characterize the samples. The novel result of the present investigation is the weakening of charge order and switch over from the anti-ferromagnetic phase to ferromagnetic phase in PCMO nanowires . In addition, the charge order is seem to have completely suppressed in 10 nm PCMO nanoparticles as observed from the magnetization measurements. These results are particularly very significant as one needs magnetic fields of ~ 27 T to melt the charge ordered phase in PCMO. Size induced insulator-metal transition TM-I is observed in nanoscale PCMO at low temperatures accompanied by ferromagnetism. CMR of 99.7% is obtained at TM-I and at a field of 11 T. EMR studies have confirmed the presence of ferromagnetic phase at low temperatures. Temperature dependent EMR line width and intensity have shown the presence of CO phase in PCMO10 though static magnetization measurements have shown the absence of CO phase. It is found that the EMR linewidth increases with the decrease of particle size. Chapter 3 reports the fabrication of nanoparticles of Nd0.5Ca0.5MnO3 (NCMO) and the results obtained from magnetization, magnetotransport and electron magnetic resonance measurements performed on nanoscale NCMO along with their comparison with those of bulk NCMO. The nanoparticles of NCMO of mean sizes 5, 20 and 40 nm were prepared by polymer assisted sol-gel method. Solid state reaction method was used to prepare the micron sized NCMO bulk material. Different techniques like XRD, TEM, EDAX and ICPAES have been used to characterize the samples. A striking result of this particular investigation is the complete suppression of charge ordered phase in 5 and 20 nm NCMO nanoparticles as observed from the magnetization measurements . Size induced insulator-metal transition TM-I is observed in nanoscale NCMO at low temperatures accompanied by ferromagnetism in accordance with Zener double exchange meachanism. CMR of 99.7% is obtained at TM-I and at a field of 11 T. EMR studies have confirmed the presence of ferromagnetic phase at low temperatures. Temperature dependent EMR line width and intensity have shown the presence of residual CO fluctuations in NCMO5 though the static magnetization measurements have shown the absence of CO phase. It is found that the EMR linewidth increases with the decrease of particle size. Low temperature X-ray diffraction measurements on NCMO20 indicate the absence of CO phase. But the preliminary results obtained from the optical spectroscopy measurements indicate the evidence for the presence of CO phase. In Chapter 4, we report the investigations on the nanoscale PSMO. PSMO nanoparticles of sizes 20, 40 and 60 nm are prepared by polymer precursor sol-gel method. PSMO nanowires of diameter 50 nm and lengths of a few microns have been prepared by hydrothermal method. The bulk polycrystalline PSMO is obtained by crushing the single crystal of the same prepared by float zone method. Various techniques like XRD, TEM, VSM, transport measurements and EMR spectroscopy have been employed to characterize and to study the size dependent magnetic, transport and electron magnetic resonance properties and to compare them with those of the bulk. Our results show that there is a disappearance of anti-ferromagnetic charge ordering phase and the appearance of a ferromagnetic phase at low temperatures in all PSMO nanoparticles and nanowires. Metal like behaviour is observed in the size induced ferromagnetic phase in nanoparticles. The EMR linewidth increases with the decrease of particle size. A comparison with the properties of the bulk material shows that the ferromagnetic transition at 265 K remains unaffected but the anti-ferromagnetic transition at TN = 150 K disappears in the nanoparticles. Further, the temperature dependence of magnetic anisotropy shows a complex behaviour, being higher in the nanoparticles at high temperatures, lower at lower temperatures in comparison with the bulk . In Chapter 5, we present the fabrication, characterization and the results obtained from the magnetization and EMR measurements carried out on BCMO and BSMO nanoparticles and compare the results with those of the bulk. X-ray diffraction gives evidence for single phasic nature of the materials as well as their structures. Mono-dispersed to a large extent, isolated nanoparticles are seen in the transmission electron micrographs. High resolution electron microscopy shows the crystalline nature of the nanoparticles. Superconducting quantum interferometer based magnetic measurements from 10 K to 300 K show that these nanomanganites retain the charge ordering nature unlike the Pr and Nd based nanomanganites. The CO in Bi based manganites is thus found to be very robust consistent with the observation that magnetic fields of the order of 130 T are necessary to melt the CO in these compounds. These results are supported by electron magnetic resonance measurements . In Chapter 6, we present our results on the effect of particle size on the magnetic properties of Pr0.7Pb0.3MnO3 (PPMO). PPMO nanoparticles of two different sizes (~5 nm and 30 nm) were prepared by the polymeric precursor sol-gel method. The samples are characterized by different techniques like XRD, TEM, SQUID magnetometry, EMR and optical spectroscopic measurements. It is found that the nanoparticles crystallize in the cubic perovskite structure. TEM measurements show that the 5 nm particles are uniform in size. They are also crystalline as seen by HREM and XRD measurements. SQUID magnetometry measurements have shown that the Curie temperature increases (from 220 K to 235 K) with the increase of particle size. Saturation magnetization is higher for the smaller particles studied. We have observed only one EMR signal down to 4 K in both the nanoparticles (5 and 30 nm) in contrast to the two EMR signal behaviour observed in bulk PPMO . It is found that the EMR linewidth increases with the decrease of particle size in the paramagnetic phase. Temperature dependent optical spectroscopy measurements performed on 5 nm PPMO nanoparticles indicate that the insulator-metal transition temperature TM-I = 230 K, is not very different from TM-I = 235 K of the bulk sample  The thesis concludes with a brief writeup summarizing the results and pointing out possible future directions of research in the area.
- Physics (PHY) 
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