Realization of High Magnetization in Artificially Designed Ni/NiO Layers through Exchange Coupling
High-magnetization materials play crucial roles in various applications. However, the past few decades have witnessed a stagnation in the discovery of new materials with high magnetization. In this work, Ni/NiO nanocomposites are fabricated by depositing Ni and NiO thin layers alternately, followed by annealing at specific temperatures. Both the as-deposited samples and those annealed at 373 K exhibit low magnetization. However, the samples annealed at 473 K exhibit a significantly enhanced saturation magnetization exceeding 607 emu cm−3 at room temperature, surpassing that of pure Ni (480 emu cm−3). Material characterizations indicate that the composite comprises NiO nanoclusters of size 1–2 nm embedded in the Ni matrix. This nanoclustered NiO is primarily responsible for the high magnetization, as confirmed by density functional theory calculations. The calculations also indicate that the NiO clusters are ferromagnetically coupled with Ni, resulting in enhanced magnetization. This work demonstrates a new route toward developing artificial high-magnetization materials using the high magnetic moments of nanoclustered antiferromagnetic materials.
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