Chemical, morphological, structural, optical, and magnetic properties of Zn1−xNdxO nanoparticles
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In the present investigation, we made an endeavor to fabricate the ZnO nanoparticles and achieved the tunable properties with Nd doping. The Nd-doped ZnO nanoparticles were characterized via X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) studies that confirmed the successful doping of Nd ions in the ZnO crystal lattice without amending its hexagonal phase. The particle morphology revealed nearly spherical particles with uniform size distribution. The band gap of these samples was determined using diffuse-reflectance spectra (DRS) and was found to vary from 3.17 to 3.21 eV with increasing Nd concentration. A broad and intense emission band at 1083 nm for Nd doped ZnO nanoparticles is observed and is assigned to corresponding emission transition 4F3/2 → 4I11/2 of Nd3+ ions. Furthermore, the magnetic studies indicate that the Nd doping altered the magnetic behavior of nanocrystalline ZnO particles from diamagnetic to ferromagnetic at 300 K and that the magnetization of these samples decreased with increasing Nd concentration. The tunable optical band gap as well as room-temperature ferromagnetism of these samples may find applications in both optoelectronics and spintronics.
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