Thermal relaxation and collective dynamics of interacting aerosol-generated hexagonal NiFe2O4 nanoparticles
This article reports on the magnetic properties of interacting uncoated nickel ferrite (NiFe2O4) nanoparticles synthesized through an aerosol levitation-jet technique. A comprehensive set of samples with different compositions of background gas and metal precursors, as well as applied electric field intensities, has been studied. Nanoparticles prepared under a field of 210 kV m−1 show moderately high-field irreversibility and shifted hysteresis loops after field-cooling, also exhibiting a joint temperature decrease of the exchange field and coercivity. The appearance of memory effects has been checked using the genuine ZFC protocol and the observed behavior cannot be fully explained in terms of thermal relaxation. Although dipolar interactions prevail, exchange interactions occur to a certain extent within a narrow range of applied fields. The origin of the slow dynamics in the system is found to be given by the interplay of the distribution of energy barriers due to size dispersion and the cooperative dynamics associated with frustrated interactions.