Effect of cobalt substitution on the magnetic properties of nickel chromite

P. Mohanty, C. J. Sheppard, A. R.E. Prinsloo, W. D. Roos, L. Olivi, G. Aquilanti

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22 Citations (Scopus)


It is of interest to study the magneto-structural coupling in geometrically frustrated antiferromagnets, where structural distortion elevates the ground state degeneracy, leading to a long-range magnetic order. In this regard a cubic spinel compound of the form AB2O4 is currently drawing much attention, where A refers to tetrahedral and B to octahedral sites. In the particular case of NiCr2O4 the material undergoes several structural phase transitions associated with the magnetic ordering. It is therefore necessary to study the magnetic behaviour of NiCr2O4 by substituting either A or B sites, or both systematically with suitable cations. The current work therefore aims at the modification of magnetic properties of NiCr2O4 by doping with Co2+ at A sites. In order to achieve the afore mentioned, (Ni1−xCox)Cr2O4 (0 ≤ x ≤ 1) were prepared using chemical co-precipitation techniques. X–ray diffraction (XRD) results indicate that the samples are in the expected phase without any trace of Cr2O3 impurities after calcination. Transmission electron microcopy (TEM) analyses of these samples show that the particles are mostly bi-pyramidal in shape, with sizes ranging from 50 nm to 100 nm. In the present study the ferrimagnetic transition temperatures (TC) of the various samples were determined utilizing magnetization as function of temperature measurements. TC for NiCr2O4 and CoCr2O4 was determined to be 82.4 ± 0.8 K and 99.5 ± 0.5 K, respectively. These values are higher than those previously reported in the literature for both these compounds. Substitution of Ni by Co, results in an increase in the TC, giving values of 89.2 ± 0.7 K and 90.6 ± 0.9 K for (Ni0.5Co0.5)Cr2O4 and (Ni0.25Co0.75)Cr2O4, respectively. The (Ni0.5Co0.5)Cr2O4 sample demonstrated a high coercivity of 3.6 ± 0.1 T and a shift in the hysteresis loop observed under field cooled measurement, not previously reported in literature. X–ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) of (Ni0.5Co0.5)Cr2O4 suggests that the oxidation states of Ni and Co are 2+, while that of Cr is 3+. In order to investigate the local structure around the cations, low temperature extended x–ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) measurements were performed. From EXAFS it is confirmed that no redistribution of A and B site cations occur at low temperatures. Present findings demonstrate that the magnetic properties of NiCr2O4 can easily and dramatically be modified by doping Co2+ at A sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-28
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Chromites
  • Magnetic frustration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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