Visualized effect of oxidation on magnetic recording fidelity in pseudo-single-domain magnetite particles

Almeida, T. P. , Kasama, T., Muxworthy, A. R., Williams, W., Nagy, L., Hansen, T. W., Brown, P. D. and Dunin-Borkowski, R. E. (2014) Visualized effect of oxidation on magnetic recording fidelity in pseudo-single-domain magnetite particles. Nature Communications, 5, 5154. (doi:10.1038/ncomms6154) (PMID:25300366) (PMCID:PMC4214405)

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Abstract

Magnetite (​Fe3O4) is an important magnetic mineral to Earth scientists, as it carries the dominant magnetic signature in rocks, and the understanding of its magnetic recording fidelity provides a critical tool in the field of palaeomagnetism. However, reliable interpretation of the recording fidelity of ​Fe3O4 particles is greatly diminished over time by progressive oxidation to less magnetic iron oxides, such as maghemite (γ-Fe2O3), with consequent alteration of remanent magnetization potentially having important geological significance. Here we use the complementary techniques of environmental transmission electron microscopy and off-axis electron holography to induce and visualize the effects of oxidation on the magnetization of individual nanoscale ​Fe3O4 particles as they transform towards γ-Fe2O3. Magnetic induction maps demonstrate a change in both strength and direction of remanent magnetization within ​Fe3O4 particles in the size range dominant in rocks, confirming that oxidation can modify the original stored magnetic information.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Almeida, Dr Trevor
Authors: Almeida, T. P., Kasama, T., Muxworthy, A. R., Williams, W., Nagy, L., Hansen, T. W., Brown, P. D., and Dunin-Borkowski, R. E.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Nature Communications
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2041-1723
ISSN (Online):2041-1723
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited
First Published:First published in Nature Communications 5:5154
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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