Large magnetoresistance induced by surface ferromagnetism in A-type antiferromagnetic La0.4Sr0.6MnO3 nanoparticles
Grain size effects on magnetic and transport properties for heavily Sr-doped A-type antiferromagnetic La0.4Sr0.6MnO3 ceramics were studied. It was observed that with decrease in grain size, surface ferromagnetism could be introduced due to bond-breaking at surfaces. With decrease in grain size, the surface ferromagnetism was enhanced, and the phase transition order distinguished from the Arrott plot was a second one. The surface-induced ferromagnetism was insulating as judged from transport properties. With decrease in grain size, magnetoresistance was largely improved for both high magnetic and low magnetic fields. Under a 500 Oe magnetic field, the magnetoresistance is improved from 0.2%, 0.1%, 0.03% and 0.02% for the sample with grain size of 150 nm at 10, 100, 200 and 300 K, respectively, to 3%, 2.3%, 0.43% and 0.12% for the sample with grain size of 20 nm at 10, 100, 200 and 300 K. It was interesting to find that large magnetoresistance could be induced due to the surface ferromagnetism in A-type antiferromagnetic La0.4Sr0.6MnO3 nanoparticles, which suggested that it was possible to search for manganites with relatively high low-field magnetoresistance in nanostructured A-type antiferromagnetic materials.