Temperature behavior of the antiferromagnetic susceptibility of nanoferrihydrite from the measurements of the magnetization curves in fields of up to 250 kOe

Balaev, D. A.; Popkov, S. I.; Krasikov, A. A.; Balaev, A. D.; Dubrovskiy, A. A.; Stolyar, S. V.; Yaroslavtsev, R. N.; Ladygina, V. P.; Iskhakov, R. S. PHYSICS OF THE SOLID STATE, 59 (10):1940-1946; 10.1134/S1063783417100031 OCT 2017

The cross-breeding problem of the temperature dependence of the antiferromagnetic susceptibility of ferrihydrite nanoparticles is considered. Iron ions Fe3+ in ferrihydrite are ordered antiferromagnetically; however, the existence of defects on the surface and in the bulk of nanoparticles induces a noncompensated magnetic moment that leads to a typical superparamagnetic behavior of ensemble of the nanoparticles with a characteristic blocking temperature. In an unblocked state, magnetization curves of such objects are described as a superposition of the Langevin function and the linear-in-field contribution of the antiferromagnetic “core” of the nanoparticles. According to many studies of the magnetization curves performed on ferrihydrite (and related ferritin) nanoparticles in fields to 60 kOe, dependence χAF(T) decreases as temperature increases, which was related before to the superantiferromagnetism effect. As the magnetic field range increases to 250 kOe, the values of χAF obtained from an analysis of the magnetization curves become lower in magnitude; however, the character of the temperature evolution of χAF is changed: now, dependence χAF(T) is an increasing function. The latter is typical for a system of AF particles with random orientation of the crystallographic axes. To correctly determine the antiferromagnetic susceptibility of AF nanoparticles (at least, ferrihydrite) and to search for effects related to the superantiferromagnetism effect, it is necessary to use in experiments the range of magnetic field significantly higher than that the standard value 60 kOe used in most experiments. The study of the temperature evolution of the magnetization curves shows that the observed crossover is due to the existence of small magnetic moments in the samples.