Structural, Magnetic and Thermal Studies of Ce1-xEuxCrO3 Nano-Powders
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A new series of nano-sized Ce1-xEuxCrO3 (x = 0.0 to 1.0) with an average particle size of 50 - 80 nm were synthesized using a solution combustion method. Nano-powders Ce1-xEuxCrO3 with the canted antiferromagnetic property exhibited interesting magnetic behaviours including the reversal magnetization and the exchange bias effect. The effect of europium doping as the ion with the smaller radius size and different electron con figuration on structural, magnetic and thermal properties of Ce1-xEuxCrO3 were investigated using various experimental techniques, i.e. DC/AC magnetic susceptibility, heat capacity, thermal expansion, Raman scattering, X-ray photoemission spectroscopy, transmission/scanning electron microscopy, X-ray powder diffraction and neutron scattering. An exchange bias effect, magnetization irreversibility and AC susceptibility dispersion in these samples confirmed the existence of the spin disorder magnetic phase in Ce1-xEuxCrO3 compounds. The exchange bias phenomenon, which is assigned to the exchange coupling between glassy-like shell and canted antiferromagnetic core, showed the opposite sign in CeCrO3 and EuCrO3 at low temperatures, suggesting different exchange interactions at the interfaces in these compounds. The energy level excitation of samples were examined by an inelastic neutron scattering which was in good agreement with the heat capacity data. Neutron scattering analysis of EuCrO3 was challenging due to the large neutron absorption cross-section of europium. All diffraction patterns of Ce1-xEuxCrO3 showed the magnetic peak attributed to the antiferromagnetic Cr3+ spins while none of the diffraction patterns could detect the magnetic ordering of the rare-earth ions in these samples.