Iron oxide-based nanostructured ceramics with tailored magnetic and mechanical properties: development of mechanically robust, bulk superparamagnetic materials
Nanostructured iron-oxide based materials with tailored mechanical and magnetic behavior are produced in bulk form. By applying ultra-fast heating routines via spark plasma sintering (SPS) to supercrystalline pellets, materials with an enhanced combination of elastic modulus, hardness and saturation magnetization are achieved. Supercrystallinity – namely the arrangement of the constituent nanoparticles into periodic structures – is achieved through self-assembly of the organically-functionalized iron oxide nanoparticles. The optimization of the following SPS regime allows the control of organics' removal, necking, iron oxide phase transformations and nano-grain size retention, and thus the fine-tuning of both mechanical properties and magnetic response, up until the production of bulk mm-size superparamagnetic materials.