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Unraveling the Origin of Magnetism in Mesoporous Cu-Doped SnO2 Magnetic Semiconductors

Departament de Física, UniversitatAutònoma de Barcelona, E-08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain
Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie, Albert-Einstein-Straße 15, 12489 Berlin, Germany
Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA), Pg. Lluís Companys 23, 08010 Barcelona, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(11), 348;
Received: 28 September 2017 / Revised: 11 October 2017 / Accepted: 20 October 2017 / Published: 25 October 2017
PDF [3022 KB, uploaded 26 October 2017]


The origin of magnetism in wide-gap semiconductors doped with non-ferromagnetic 3d transition metals still remains intriguing. In this article, insights in the magnetic properties of ordered mesoporous Cu-doped SnO2 powders, prepared by hard-templating, have been unraveled. Whereas, both oxygen vacancies and Fe-based impurity phases could be a plausible explanation for the observed room temperature ferromagnetism, the low temperature magnetism is mainly and unambiguously arising from the nanoscale nature of the formed antiferromagnetic CuO, which results in a net magnetization that is reminiscent of ferromagnetic behavior. This is ascribed to uncompensated spins and shape-mediated spin canting effects. The reduced blocking temperature, which resides between 30 and 5 K, and traces of vertical shifts in the hysteresis loops confirm size effects in CuO. The mesoporous nature of the system with a large surface-to-volume ratio likely promotes the occurrence of uncompensated spins, spin canting, and spin frustration, offering new prospects in the use of magnetic semiconductors for energy-efficient spintronics. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanocasting; mesoporous SnO2 particles; diluted magnetic semiconductors nanocasting; mesoporous SnO2 particles; diluted magnetic semiconductors

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Fan, J.; Menéndez, E.; Guerrero, M.; Quintana, A.; Weschke, E.; Pellicer, E.; Sort, J. Unraveling the Origin of Magnetism in Mesoporous Cu-Doped SnO2 Magnetic Semiconductors. Nanomaterials 2017, 7, 348.

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