Magnetic and structural investigation of highly porous CoFe 2O4-SiO2 nanocomposite aerogels

Alberto Casu, Maria F. Casula, Anna Corrias*, Andrea Falqui, Danilo Loche, Sergio Marras

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The structural and magnetic properties of CoFe2O 4-SiO2 nanocomposite porous aerogels have been systematically investigated by XRD, TEM, and SQUID magnetometry. The preparation of the samples was performed by a cogelation sol-gel route which allows one to obtain nanocomposites with high purity and homogeneity and to control the composition of the sample in terms of ferrite loading in the nanocomposite. In particular, the compositional effect on both the structural and magnetic properties of the nanocomposite was investigated in two nanocomposites with relative CoFe2O4 amounts of 5 and 10 wt %. The characterization shows both similarities and differences in the structural evolution of the nanophases within the amorphous porous matrix of the two nanocomposites as a function of the calcination temperature. In both samples the ferrite nanoparticles are formed above 750 °C; however, a slower structural evolution is observed in the nanocomposites with 5 wt % CoFe2O 4. The nanocomposites display superparamagnetic behavior with blocking temperature that increases with both the ferrite amount and the calcination temperature. The importance of combining information from different techniques is also discussed, with particular reference to nanocrystal size determination. The results provide insights into the characterization of innovative materials and on how the compositional and microstructural features affect the properties of magnetic nanocomposites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)916-922
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 18 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • General Energy
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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