Reduction and characterizations of iron particles: Influence of reduction parameters
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Iron particles have some applications as electromagnetic devices in magnetic recording and data storage technology due to their small sizes and high data storage capacity. The devices can be advanced by improving the properties of existing materials according to the production parameters. Thus, the influences of reduction parameters on the properties of iron particles were studied. The iron particles were reduced from superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles by altering reduction parameters under hydrogen atmosphere at high (400 degrees C) temperature. The structural analysis of the films was carried out using the X-ray diffraction (XRD) and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) techniques. The XRD data revealed that the crystal textures changed for the particles reduced at each parameter. And, the crystal structure turns from the cubic spinel structure of magnetite and body centered cubic (bcc) structure of iron to the bcc iron as the reduction time increases from 15 to 240 min. Then, the similar structure change can be seen for the samples reduced at increasing hydrogen flow rates. The HRTEM studies revealed that the surface morphology of the films strongly depend on the flow rate. Finally, magnetite peaks weaken and then disappear as the precursor mass decreases to the lowest value. The average crystallite sizes were found to be consistent with changing crystal structure. Furthermore, the magnetic characteristics studied by a vibrating sample magnetometer were observed to be affected by the parameters. Besides, magnetic differences may arise from the variation of crystal structure and crystal sizes caused by individual reduction parameters of reduction time, hydrogen flow rate and precursor mass.