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Influence of Gd3+-substitution on structural, magnetic, dielectric and modulus spectroscopic characteristics of ZnFe2O4 spinel ferrite nanoparticles

Abstract

The gadolinium (Gd3+) substituted zinc ferrite nanoparticles (ZnFe2−xGdxO4) for Gd3+ (x = 0.00, 0.05, 0.10, 0.20) have been synthesized by honey mediated sol–gel auto-combustion method. The X-ray diffraction study revealed the formation of spinel ferrite crystal structure. The Raman spectroscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy study well support the XRD results analysis. The field emission scanning electron microscopy micrograph revealed spherical morphology and grain size around 10–30 nm for ZnFe2−xGdxO4 (x = 0.10) nanoparticles. The presence of Zn2+ and Fe3+ oxidation state in synthesized nanoparticles was confirmed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Magnetic properties of the Gd3+ substituted zinc ferrite nanoparticles were investigated by vibrating sample magnetometer at room temperature. The conversion of magnetic hysteresis curves from ferromagnetic to a paramagnetic with the substitution of Gd3+ in zinc ferrite nanoparticles was observed. Frequency dependent dielectric constant and ac conductivity measurements revealed that Gd3+ substitution improved the value of dielectric constant and ac conductivity of the Gd3+ substituted zinc ferrite nanoparticles. Further, the existence of two semicircles in Cole–Cole plot demonstrated the role of both grains and grain boundaries to conduction process in synthesized Gd3+ ion substituted zinc ferrite nanoparticles. Furthermore, the grain relaxation time (τg), grain boundary relaxation time (τgb), grain resistance (Rg), grain capacitance (Cg), grain boundary resistance (Rgb) and grain boundary capacitance (Cgb) for synthesized ZnFe2−xGdxO4 (x = 0.00, 0.05, 0.10, 0.20) nanoparticles have been calculated using modulus spectroscopy analysis.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic—Program NPU I (LO1504). One author ‘Milan Masar’ also acknowledges an internal Grant IGA/CPS/2017/7 from TBU in Zlin.

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Yadav, R.S., Kuřitka, I., Vilcakova, J. et al. Influence of Gd3+-substitution on structural, magnetic, dielectric and modulus spectroscopic characteristics of ZnFe2O4 spinel ferrite nanoparticles. J Mater Sci: Mater Electron 29, 15878–15893 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10854-018-9674-z

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