Cobalt-based magnetic nanocomposites: fabrication, fundamentals and applications
Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Recently, magnetic nanocomposites (MNC) have aroused significant scientific and technological interests because their properties strongly rely on the interplay between those of the constituent components. Here, using three types of cobalt-based MNCs, we demonstrate how their physical behaviour, including thermal, electrical and magnetic, can be strongly affected by such interplays. First, using Au core -Co shell nanoparticles (NPs), we demonstrate that their thermal stabilities are critically
... es are critically dependent on various boundaries and they structurally transform from the core-shells to the peanut structures via several intermediate states by a series of energy minimizations including the grain boundaries, Co/Au interface and strain. Second, the microstructures of the MNC are co-determined by the properties of the individual components, which in turn will strongly affect their overall properties. We illustrate this by a careful study of the electron transport in cobalt/poly (3-hexylthiophene, 2, 5-diyl) (P3HT) hybrid thin films, and show that they satisfy a fluctuation-induced tunnelling model that is strongly depended on their microstructures; moreover, a magnetoresistance in these thin films was also observed. Finally, the magnetic properties and phase stability of MNCs can also be strongly altered as a result of this interplay. Three phase transformations are observed in cobalt ferrofluids for T ∼ 10-300 K, namely second order magnetic phase transformations (blocked-unblocked transition) at the blocking temperature of the magnetic NP, first order magnetic and structural phase transformations at the solvent melting temperature, T M , and second order premelting transformation at T PM < T < T M . These transformations show specific magnetic signatures in field-cool and zero-field-cool magnetization measurements and are qualitatively in agreement with predictions using M-spectrum theory.