Nanocomposites of iron oxide with conducting polymer in the form of powders of varying compositions have been studied to understand the effects of particle size, cluster size and magnetic inter-particle interactions. The sizes of the nanoparticles were estimated to be ∼ 10–20 nm from the X-ray diffraction (XRD) and the transmission electron micrographs (TEM). XRD shows a single crystalline phase for the 𝛾-Fe2O3. The presence of conducting polymer was confirmed through Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The amount of polymer present in the composite, the transition temperature of iron oxide and the thermal stability of polymer was determined through thermogravimetric and differential thermal analysis (TGA–DTA). The room temperature magnetic hysteresis measurements show reduction in saturation magnetization with increasing polymer concentrations. A low value of coercivity was observed for low polymer composites. On increasing the polymer concentration, the coercivity and remanence become negligible indicating a superparamagnetic phase at room temperature. Beyond a certain composition, the system shows paramagnetic behaviour which is also confirmed through zero field cooled–field cooled (ZFC–FC) measurements. We also report preliminary results on the magnetic properties of self standing sheets prepared using 𝛾-Fe2O3 and NiFe2O4 nanoparticles and conducting polymers.
Volume 42 | Issue 5