Thermite synthesis, structural and magnetic properties of Co-Al2O3 nanocomposite films

Myagkov, V. G.; Bykova, L. E.; Zhigalov, V. S.; Matsynin, A. A.; Volochaev, M. N.; Tambasov, I. A.; Mikhlin, Yu. L.; Bondarenko, G. N. JOURNAL OF ALLOYS AND COMPOUNDS, 724 820-826; Doi: 10.1016/j.jallcom.2017.07.081 NOV 15 2017

We have synthesized ferromagnetic nanocomposite Co-Al2O3 thin films via a thermite reaction between Al and Co3O4 with layer geometry. The starting Al/Co3O4 bilayers were obtained by the deposition of Al layers onto Co3O4 films at room temperature and were annealed at temperatures between 50 and 700 °C at 50 °C intervals. Above ∼450 °C the Co3O4 partially transformed into the CoO phase. The simultaneous solid-state reactions of Al with Co3O4 and Al with CoO started above the initiation temperature Tin ∼500 °C, which did not depend on the bilayer thickness. After annealing at 700 °C about 60% of the Co was reduced by the Al and the rest of the Co was contained in intermediate CoAl2O4 shells, which separated the Co nanoparticles from the Al2O3 matrix. Above 700 °C the reaction was complete and the final products were noninteracting Co nanoparticles with an average size of ∼40 nm enveloped by CoAl2O4 shells, which embedded into a dielectric Al2O3 matrix. The synthesized Co-Al2O3 nanocomposite films possessed soft magnetic behavior and good chemical stability.