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Nanocrystalline Ni0.5Zn0.5Fe2O4 thin films have been synthesized with various grain sizes by a sol-gel method on polycrystalline silicon substrates. The morphology, magnetic, and microwave absorption properties of the films calcined in the 673–1073 K range were studied with x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, vibrating sample magnetometry, and evanescent microwave microscopy. All films were uniform without microcracks. Increasing the calcination temperature from 873 to 1073 K and time from 1 to 3 h resulted in an increase of the grain size from 12 to 27 nm. The saturation and remnant magnetization increased with increasing the grain size, while the coercivity demonstrated a maximum near a critical grain size of 21 nm due to the transition from monodomain to multidomain behavior. The complex permittivity of the Ni–Zn ferrite films was measured in the frequency range of 2–15 GHz. The heating behavior was studied in a multimode microwave cavity at 2.4 GHz. The highest microwave heating rate in the temperature range of 315–355 K was observed in the film close to the critical grain size.


Copyright © 2010, American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in the Journal of Applied Physics 107.4, and may be found at



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