Hard magnetic FePt nanoparticles by salt-matrix annealing
Liu, J. Ping
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To transfer face-centered-cubic (fcc) FePt nanoparticles to the face-centered-tetragonal (fct) phase with high magnetic anisotropy, heat treatments are necessary. The heat treatments lead to agglomeration and sintering of the nanoparticles. To prevent the particles from sintering, salts as the separating media (matrix) have been used for annealing the nanoparticles in our experiments. The fcc nanoparticles produced by chemical synthesis were mixed with NaCl powders. The mixture was then annealed in forming gas (93%H2+7%Ar) in different conditions to complete the fcc to fct phase transition. After the annealing, the salt was washed out by water and monodisperse fct FePt nanoparticles were obtained. Detailed studies on the effect of the NaCl-to-FePt weight ratios (from 1:1 to 400:1) have been performed. It was found that a suitable NaCl-to-FePt ratio is the key to obtain monodisperse fct FePt nanoparticles. A higher NaCl-to-FePt ratio is needed for larger particles when the annealing conditions are the same. Increased annealing temperature and time should be accompanied by a higher NaCl-to-FePt ratio. Magnetic measurements show very high coercivity (up to 30 kOe) of the monodispersed fct nanoparticles by the salt-matrix annealing.