Spectroscopic analysis of nanosized Zn(Ag, Ni)O systems and observation of superparamagnetism at low temperature

Kamakhya Prakash Misra, Saikat Chattopadhyay, Atul Bandyopadhyay, Albin Antony, Ashok Rao, P. Poornesh, J. Jedryka, K. Ozga, B. Kucharska, Yanting Yin, Gunther Andersson, Arunava Agarwala, Yung Kang Kuo

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To understand the impact of binary doping in ZnO, nanosized Zn(Ag, Ni)O systems were synthesized by the sol-gel method. The amount of Ag was fixed at 2 at%, and that of Ni was varied from 1 to 15 at%. Ni incorporation equal to or beyond 3 at% gave rise to the development of the NiO phase. The presence of Ag and Ni did not have much influence on the lattice constants of ZnO. However, a larger addition of Ni impacted the unit cell of NiO, as indicated by the reduction of the lattice constant of NiO. The increase in NiO and Ag contents in ZnO reduced the second and third harmonic intensities under non-linear investigations. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis indicated that initial Ni addition varied randomly along with Ag, and it stabilized itself at higher concentration. Field emission scanning electron microscopy revealed that interlinked particles and chains with tamarind shapes were formed, closely matching the rod-like structures under high resolution. Ag and Ni addition altered the structures slightly and randomly till 5 at% Ni; thereafter they deviated from the particle shape to flat disc-shapes. Interestingly, the magnetic response of the sample was determined by the NiO phase, and the effect of Ni and Ag substitution in the ZnO host matrix was almost irrelevant at low temperatures toward magnetic contribution. Weak ferromagnetism at low temperatures (≤50 K) with superparamagnetic-like behavior (cusp in ZFC magnetization) was observed in all the samples. This could be attributed to the finite nano-size effect and uncompensated spins at the surface of the particle.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNanoscale Advances
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering


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