Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA)–bismuth ferrite (BFO) nanocomposite: low loss and high dielectric constant materials with perceptible magnetic properties
Herein, poly(methyl methacrylate)–bismuth ferrite (PMMA–BFO) nanocomposites were successfully prepared by an in situ polymerization method for the first time. Initially, the as prepared bismuth ferrite (BFO) nanoparticles were dispersed in the monomer, (methyl methacrylate) by sonication. Benzoyl peroxide was used to initiate the polymerization reaction in ethyl acetate medium. The nanocomposite films were subjected to X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD), 1H NMR, field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), infrared spectroscopy (IR), dielectric and magnetic characterizations. The dielectric measurement of the nanocomposites was investigated at a frequency range of 10 Hz to 1 MHz. It was found that the nanocomposites not only showed a significantly increased value of the dielectric constant with an increase in the loading percentage of BFO as compared to pure PMMA, but also exhibited low dielectric loss values over a wide range of frequencies. The values of the dielectric constant and dielectric loss of the PMMA–BFO5 (5% BFO loading) sample at 1 kHz frequency was found be ∼14 and 0.037. The variation of the ferromagnetic response of the nanocomposite was consistent with the varying volume percentage of the nanoparticles. The remnant magnetization (Mr) and saturation magnetization (Ms) values of the composites were found to be enhanced by increasing the loading percentage of BFO. The value of Ms for PMMA–BFO5 was found to be ∼6 emu g−1. The prima facie observations suggest that the nanocomposite is a potential candidate for application in high dielectric constant capacitors. Significantly, based on its magnetic properties the composite will also be useful for use in hard disk components.