Synthesis and characterization of ZnFe 2 O 4/Mn 2 O 3 nanocomposites


In this work, spinel zinc ferrite (ZnFe2O4), manganese oxide (Mn2O3) nanoparticles (NPs) as well as a series of ZnFe2O4/Mn2O3 nanocomposites (NCs) with varying Mn2O3 ratio from 10 to 50 wt. % were synthesized by co-precipitation route. The structural, optical, electrical, and magnetic properties of ZnFe2O4/Mn2O3 NCs were examined by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), ultraviolet–visible (UV–Vis) spectroscopy, photoluminescence (PL) emission, DC electrical conductivity, and vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM). The XRD analysis demonstrated the existence of Mn2O3 and ZnFe2O4 phases, in addition to the formation of spinel ZnMn2O4 and α-Fe2O3 as secondary phases. The chemical interactions between the Mn2O3 and ZnFe2O4 have been confirmed by the shift in the position of the metal–oxygen (M–O) stretching modes in the FTIR spectra. The TEM images revealed the presence of cubic and spherically shaped nanoparticles in the ZnFe2O4/Mn2O3 NCs with an average size in the range of 15.52 to 19.22 nm. The nanocomposites showed strong absorption in the UV region with a calculated bandgap ranging between 3.22 and 3.26 eV. However, the nanocomposite with 10 wt. % Mn2O3 exhibited the highest photocatalytic activity under UV-irradiation as confirmed by PL spectroscopy. Moreover, the nanocomposite structure exhibited a significantly enhanced DC conductivity compared to ZnFe2O4 and attained a maximum value at 10 wt. % Mn2O3. The room temperature M-H curves of ZnFe2O4/Mn2O3 NCs displayed weak ferromagnetic behavior. The magnetization increases with increasing Mn2O3 content up to 10 wt. % and then decreases with further increase in the wt.%.

Journal/Conference Information

Applied Physics A,DOI:, Volume: 127, Issue: 206, Pages Range: 1-16,