Epsilon-Fe2O3 nanoparticles embedded in silica xerogel - Magnetic metamaterial

Yakushkin, S. S.; Balaev, D. A.; Dubrovskiy, A. A.; Semenov, S. V.; Knyazev, Yu. V.; Bayukov, O. A.; Kirillov, V. L.; Ivantsov, R. D.; Edelman, I. S.; Martyanov, O. N. Source: CERAMICS INTERNATIONAL, 44 (15):17852-17857; 10.1016/j.ceramint.2018.06.254 OCT 15 2018

A novel method for synthesizing a new metamaterial based on ε-Fe2O3 nanoparticles immobilized in the xerogel matrix was proposed. Samples with different contents of ε-Fe2O3 nanoparticles dispersed in silica xerogel were synthesized by impregnation of as prepared hydrogel with iron (II) salts with the subsequent calcination. The structure and magnetic properties of the prepared composites were studied by transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, Mössbauer spectroscopy, and static magnetic measurements. The absence of other iron oxide polymorphs, controllable particle size distribution, and high ε-Fe2O3 nanoparticle concentration in combination with the weak interparticle magnetic interactions ensured the preservation of the unique magnetic properties of individual ε-Fe2O3 nanoparticles and allowed us to obtain a novel metamaterial. The high optical transparency and homogeneity of the prepared composites made it possible to detect the magnetic circular dichroism (MCD) of the magnetic silica xerogel, which is typical of the ε-Fe2O3-based systems.