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Effect of Fe Substitution on Structural and Magnetic Properties of NiCr₂O₄

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At room temperature, the normal oxide spinel NiCr₂O₄ is tetragonally distorted and crystallizes in the I4₁/amd space group due to cooperative Jahn-Teller ordering driven by the orbital degeneracy of tetrahedral Ni²⁺. The ferrimagnetic Curie temperature (T_{C}) for NiCr₂O₄ is 74 K. The magnetic moments of NiCr₂O₄ are composed of a ferrimagnetic (longitudinal) and an antiferromagnetic (transverse) component. Exchange interaction between the magnetic cations influences the overall magnetic properties of the compound. Present work focuses on the modification of structural and magnetic properties upon substituting Fe at Cr site in NiCr₂O₄ with the motivation of changing the magnetic exchange interaction. In order to do so, single phase Ni(Cr_{0.5}Fe_{0.5})₂O₄ samples were prepared by co-precipitation techniques, while controlling the pH of precipitation. Upon Fe substitution, crystal structure was not affected much contrary to the earlier reports. In order to determine the oxidation state of each elements X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) was performed. T_{C} was found to increase dramatically above 300 K, confirmed both from temperature and field dependent dc-magnetization studies.
  • Cr Research Group, Department of Physics, University of Johannesburg, PO Box 524, Auckland Park, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Cr Research Group, Department of Physics, University of Johannesburg, PO Box 524, Auckland Park, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Cr Research Group, Department of Physics, University of Johannesburg, PO Box 524, Auckland Park, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Department of Physics, Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of the Free State, PO Box 339, Bloemfontein 9300, South Africa
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