Eu-doping of hematite (α-Fe2O3) nanoparticles (NPs) takes place under hydrothermal conditions, and does not at ambient temperature and pressure. Required circumstances have been studied in detail. In the presence of Eu, besides hematite, some goethite and ferrihydrite are formed. Evidence for the occurrence of doping is reported. Chemical composition, as studied by EDS (bulk) and XPS (surface), reveals an enrichment of Eu at NPs core, ascribed to the occurrence of a two-step mechanism of NP formation, comprising nucleation at first, in which Eu3+ ions compete with Fe3+ ions, notwithstanding the large difference in concentration, and a successive growth step of NPs in a solution comparatively richer in Fe 3+ species. The Eu content affects: (i) the morphology of NPs, as shown by TEM and FE-SEM; (ii) lattice parameters, as obtained by Rietveld refinement of XRD patterns; (iii) magnetic properties, due to the presence of Eu3+ ions, characterized by a higher one-ion anisotropy and a lower magnetic moment with respect to iron cations.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Research supported in part by ONRMURIN000140810747, and AFOR’s complex networks program.
★ Research supported in part by ONR MURI N000140810747, networks program.
- Magnetic properties