An experimental and theoretical study of the optical, electronic, and magnetic properties of novel inverted α-Cr2O3@α-Mn0.35Cr1.65O2.94 core shell nanoparticles

Mohammad D. Hossain, Missouri State University
Robert A. Mayanovic, Missouri State University
Ridwan Sakidja, Missouri State University
Mourad Benamara

Abstract

Magnetic core–shell nanoparticles (CSNs) have potential applications in spintronic devices, drug delivery systems, and magnetic random access memory. By use of our hydrothermal nano-phase epitaxy method, we have accomplished synthesis of novel, well-ordered α-Cr2O3@α-Mn0.35Cr1.65O2.94 inverted CSNs. XRD and TEM analyses show a core–shell structure with corundum phase throughout the core and shell with a minimal amount of interface defects. TEM-EDX and XPS data show Mn having the +2 oxidation state in the shell of the CSNs. Magnetization measurements at 5 K show a weak coercivity (HC) value of 8 Oe and an exchange bias field (HE) of 293 Oe. Ab initio calculations show that Mn incorporation in α-Cr2O3 results in narrowing of the energy band gap, substantiated by UV–Vis measurements, and half metallic behavior in case of Mn(III) substitution. Our calculations substantiate that Mn substitution in α-Cr2O3 results in a combination of antiferromagnetic and weak ferrimagnetic character of our CSNs.