Many recent reports on magnetism in otherwise nonmagnetic oxides have demonstrated that nanoparticle size, surfactant coating, or doping with magnetic ions produces room-temperature ferromagnetism. Specifically, ZnO has been argued to be a room-temperature ferromagnet through all three of these methods in various experimental studies. For this reason, we have prepared a series of 1% Fe doped ZnO nanoparticle samples using a single forced hydrolysis co-precipitation synthesis method from the same precursors, while varying size (6 – 15 nm) and surface coating concentration to study the combined effects of these two parameters. Size was controlled by modifying the water concentration. Surfactant coating was adjusted by varying the concentration of poly acrylic acid (PAA) in solution. Samples were characterized by x-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, optical absorptance spectroscopy, and magnetometry. No clear systematic effect on magnetization was observed as a function of surfactant coating, while evidence for a direct dependence of magnetization on the crystallite size is apparent.
Thurber, Aaron P.; Beausoleil, Geoffrey L. II; Alanko, Gordon A.; Anghel, Joshua; Jones, Michael S.; Johnson, Lydia M.; Zhang, Jianhui; Hanna, Charles B.; Tenne, Dmitri A.; and Punnoose, Alex. (2011). "Magnetism of ZnO Nanoparticles: Dependence on Crystallite Size and Surfactant Coating". Journal of Applied Physics, 109(7), 07C305-1 - 07C305-3. http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3536414