Tuning the surface anisotropy in Fe-doped NiO nanoparticles
Ni1−xFexO nanoparticles have been obtained by the co-precipitation chemical route. X-ray diffraction analyses using Rietveld refinement have shown a slight decrease in the microstrain and mean particle size as a function of the Fe content. The zero-field-cooling (ZFC) and field-cooling (FC) magnetization curves show superparamagnetic behavior at high temperatures and a low temperature peak (at T = 11 K), which is enhanced with increasing Fe concentration. Unusual behavior of the coercive field in the low temperature region and an exchange bias behavior were also observed. A decrease in the Fe concentration induces an increase in the exchange bias field. We argue that these behaviors can be linked with the strengthening of surface anisotropy caused by the incorporation of Fe ions.