Ferroelectric and magnetic properties of Nd-doped Bi4 − xFeTi3O12 nanoparticles prepared through the egg-white method
© Batoo et al.; licensee Springer. 2012
Received: 25 May 2012
Accepted: 18 August 2012
Published: 18 September 2012
Multiferroic behavior of Bi4 − xNd x FeTi3O12 (0.0 ≤ × ≤ 0.25, × = 0.05) ceramic nanoparticles prepared through the egg-white method was investigated. The dielectric properties of the samples show normal behavior and are explained in the light of space charge polarization. Room temperature polarization-electric field (P-E) curves show that the samples are not saturated with maximum remanence polarization, Pr = 0.110 μC/cm2, and a relatively low coercive field, Ec = of 7.918 kV/cm, at an applied field of 1 kV/cm was observed for 5% Nd doping. The room temperature M-H hysteresis curve shows that the samples exhibit intrinsic antiferromagnetism with a weak ferromagnetism. These properties entitle the grown nanoparticles of BNFT as one of the few multiferroic materials that exhibit decent magnetization and electric polarization.
KeywordsNanoparticles Multiferroic Dielectric constant dc magnetization
Recently, there has been an extensive study in the direction of search for the materials possessing magnetic as well as the ferroelectric properties because of the richness of physics involved in the system as well as their potential applications in memory devices and functional sensors [1–6]. These materials exhibit phenomena such as the control of electrical polarization by the application of an external magnetic field or vice versa, providing an additional degree of freedom for the design of new devices. Materials can be considered as multiferroic where ferroelectricity and ferromagnetism make mutually exclusive group  with the interaction of electric and magnetoelectric effects [4, 7] and the effect of mutual influence of the polarization and magnetization. These phenomena are of practical interest for microelectronics, magnetic memories, sensors, and nonvolatile ferroelectric random access memory applications [3, 8, 9]. In order to be used as microelectronics and sensor techniques, magnetoelectric materials should satisfy this criterion: the magnetic and electric ordering temperature must exceed the room temperature. However, up to now, multiferroic materials for room temperature applications are very few . Taking into account the recent literature, most of the published articles are referring to perovskite structures as potential multiferroics [3, 11]. However, only BiFeO3 has proved multiferroic properties at room temperature [7, 12], and its complex properties are not yet well understood. Numerous studies for the search of multiferrioc properties of BiFeO3 system substituted with PbTiO3, La, Co, Nd, and Gd have been carried out in order to improve its ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties [13, 14]. In the light of continued search for the multiferrioc materials, the substitution of Nd was used to enhance the electrical resistivity of Ba4Ti3FeO12 (BNTF) system. This paper reports the synthesization of Nd-substituted nanomaterials through the egg-white method and their dielectric, ferroelectric, and magnetic studies.
Nanoparticles of BNTF were prepared through egg-white method. The starting materials Bi(NO3)3·5H2O, Nd(NO3)3·6H2O, TiCl3, and FeCl3 were mixed together in proper stoichiometric proportions. Extracted egg white (60 ml), dissolved in 40 ml of double distilled water through vigorous stirring, was added to the metal mixture at room temperature. After constant stirring for 30 min, the resultant sol–gel was evaporated at 80°C until a dry precursor was obtained. The dried precursor was sintered at 700°C for 10 h. The final material obtained was ground for 1 h using mortar and pestle.
The powder samples obtained were characterized for structural phase and nanosize formation using PANalytical X'Pert Pro X-ray diffractometer (The Netherlands) with Cu Kα (λ = 1.54 Å) in the range of 20° to 80° with a sweeping rate of 2°/min.
The microstructural and morphological analysis of the samples were carried out using a field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM, JSM 7600 F, JEOL Ltd., Akishima, Tokyo, Japan) and field emission transmission electron microscope (HRTEM, JEOL 2010 F, JEOL Ltd.) with the energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) facility attached.
For electrical measurements, a fixed amount of powder sample was taken, and a few drops of PVA were added to it. The mixture was left over night, dried at room temperature, and pressed into disc-shaped pellets (12 mm × 12 mm) with the help of hydraulic press. The pallets were heated at 500°C for 1 h, and silver paste coating was applied on opposite flat faces of the pallets to make parallel plate capacitor geometry. The dielectric measurements were performed in the frequency range 1 kHz to 1 MHz using Wayne Kerr 6500B impedance analyzer (Wayne Kerr Electronics Ltd., Woburn, MA, USA). The polarization versus electric field hysteresis measurements were carried out at 1 kV/cm field using P-E loop tracer of Marine India, New Delhi, India. Room temperature magnetic hysteresis measurements were carried out using Lake Shore VSM (Lake Shore Croyotronics Inc., OH, USA) with a field of 20 kOe.
Results and discussion
Structural and morphological studies
In summary, a series of nanoparticles of polycrystalline system Bi4 − xNd x FeTi3O12 were prepared through the egg-white method to investigate the presence of multiferroic properties. The dielectric properties show normal behavior with respect to the frequency. Room temperature unsaturated multiferrioc properties were observed for the grown nanoparticles. All the samples show the intrinsic antiferromagnetism with very weak ferromagnetism. The remanence polarization (Pr), and remanence magnetization (Mr) values were found maximum for 5% Nd concentration. These properties entitle the grown nanoparticles of BNFT as one of the few multiferroic materials that exhibit decent magnetization and electric polarization.
KMB is working as an assistant professor in King Abdullah Institute for Nanotechnology, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He obtained his Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Aligarh Muslim University, India. His field of specialization is magnetic nanomaterials. JPL is working as an assistant professor in King Abdullah Institute for Nanotechnology, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He obtained his Ph.D. in Material Sciences from the Division of Quantum Materials Physics, Okayama University, Okayama, Japan. His field of specialization is structural and morphological studies of nanomaterials. RS is at present working as Ph.D. student in the Department of Physics, Himachal Pradesh University, Summer Hill, Shimla, India. Her field of specialization is ferrite materials. MS is working as a professor in the Department of Physics, Himachal Pradesh University, Summer Hill, Shimla, India. He obtained his Ph.D. from Himachal Pradesh University in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India. His field of specialization is magnetic materials.
Authors KMB and JPL are thankful to the National Plan of Science and Technology (NPST), King Saud University for providing the financial support under the project code: NANO-10-2012 for carrying this work.
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