Exchange bias in nano-ferrihydrite

Balaev D. A., Krasikov A. A., Dubrovskiy A. A., Popkov S. I., Stolyar S. V., Iskhakov R. S., Ladygina V. P., Yaroslavtsev R. N. Journal of Applied Physics 120, 183903 (2016); doi: 10.1063/1.4967912

We report the results of investigations of the effect of cooling in an external magnetic field starting from the temperature over superparamagnetic blocking temperature TB on the shift of magnetic hysteresis loops in systems of ferrihydrite nanoparticles from ∼2.5 to ∼5 nm in size with different TB values. In virtue of high anisotropy fields of ferrihydrite nanoparticles and open hysteresis loops in the range of experimentally attainable magnetic fields, the shape of hysteresis loops of such objects in the field-cooling mode is influenced by the minor hysteresis loop effect. A technique is proposed for distinguishing the exchange bias effect among the effects related to the minor hysteresis loops caused by high anisotropy fields of ferrihydrite particles. The exchange bias in ferrihydrite is stably observed for particles not less than 3 nm in size or with TB over 40 K, and its characteristic value increases with the particle size.

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