Date of Award

8-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Chemistry

Advisor

Hwu, Shiou-Jyh

Committee Member

Kolis , Joseph W

Committee Member

Pennington , William T

Committee Member

Tritt , Terry M

Abstract

The studies and syntheses presented in this dissertation were primarily aimed at exploring new magnetic solids comprised of special framework oxides with novel magnetic properties. Low-dimensional magnetic behavior has been of great interest, especially pertaining to molecular solids having single magnetic domains where slow relaxation and quantum properties of magnetization are evident. In attempts to mimic molecular magnets and achieve reduced dimensionality of, in this case 3d-;4f magnetic sublattices, diamagnetic oxyanions, XOmn-, and A-site cations (A = alkali and alkaline-earth metals) were used as nonmagnetic spacers in hopes of disrupting or confining magnetic interactions in certain dimensions. The general system type explored throughout these studies was of the form: A-R-M-X-O, where A = alkali and alkaline-earth metals, R = Bi3+ or lanthanide metals (4f), M = first row transition metals (3d), and X = P, As, or Ge. The scope of this research consisted of, first, finding new low&-dimensional magnetic systems of the A-R-M-X-O type through exploratory molten-salt synthetic approaches, and upon characterizing these new systems, attempts were made to chemically modify these materials in order to understand and gain insight into how the structures of these materials dictate properties through structure and property correlations.
Due to the refractory nature and low solubility of the covalent metal oxides, namely the lanthanide and transition metal oxides, excess amounts of eutectic halide flux mixtures (alkali and alkaline-earth halides) were employed to assist the reaction and promote crystal growth. One can think of these halide fluxes as a high-temperature solvent, in the molten state, that helps speed up the otherwise slow diffusion processes typically associated with traditional solid state synthetic approaches via unconventional dissolution (decomposition) and reprecipitation processes. Also advantageous in using alkali and alkaline-earth metal halides as solvent media is the fact that the salt itself or the alkali/alkaline-earth oxides formed in situ can be incorporated in phase formations. Both of the aforementioned cases, if incorporated, lead to an additional and different type of nonmagnetic spacer for the formation of low-dimensional 3d-4f extended solids. It is believed that these nonmagnetic, ionic spacers are more disruptive to magnetic super-super-exchange in comparison to the nonmagnetic oxyanionic spacers, and should assist further in achieving truly confined magnetic sublattices.
In the studies presented, the overall highlight considering structure and property correlations will be most exemplified through the comparison of two different pseudo-one-dimensional (1D), 3d-4f arsenate systems (Chapters 3 and 4) where it is observed that further spacing of the 3d-4f sublattices leads to interesting low-dimensional magnetic behavior. In addition, an extension of one of these pseudo-1D, 3d-4f systems (Chapter 5) will highlight the intriguing properties resulting from the study of a family of compounds whereby a double aliovalent substitution has been performed with respect to the parent family. This particular system features a solid solution series where charge disorder exists, and in terms of magnetic properties, there are unique variations in comparison to the parent family. And finally, in relation to heterometallic system types, a new noncentrosymmetric phosphate family containing mixed 3d-6p (where 3d = Mn, Fe; 6p = Bi3+) will be discussed (Chapter 6). As will be mentioned, new 3d-6p systems were explored originally for host materials where lanthanides could be substituted. Independent of lanthanide substitutions that are yet to be proven, the combination of both bulk acentricity and magnetically active ions makes systems of this type worthy of study due to multiferroic potentials aimed toward the coupling of polarization and magnetization.

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