Bismuth iron oxide is amongst the class of materials that exhibit simultaneous presence of ferromagnetic and ferroelectric properties with potential applications in spintronic devices. However, there are some problems associated with BiFeO3 including large leakage current, volatile nature of Bi2O3 along with weak ferromagnetic/antiferromagnetic behavior. In order to overcome these difficulties we here report the effect of manganese (Mn) doping on BiFeO3 (BiFe1−xMnxO3 where x = 0.0–0.3, with interval of 0.05) thin films prepared using sol–gel and spin coating method. X-ray diffractometer (XRD) results show formation of phase pure rhombohedrally distorted perovskite structure. However, with the increase in Mn content, XRD peak positions shift to higher angle indicating reduction in lattice parameters and consequently the unit cell volume. Crystallite size in un-doped and Mn-doped BiFeO3 films is below cycloidal spin arrangement of BiFeO3, i.e. 62 nm. This along with charge compensation mechanism, arising due to replacement of trivalent cation with divalent ion, enhances the magnetic properties of BiFe1−xMnxO3 thin films. Ferromagnetic behavior instead of antiferromagnetic nature of BiFeO3 is observed in these BiFe1−xMnxO3 thin films for all Mn concentrations. High saturation magnetization of 102 emu/cm3 was observed for Mn content of 0.2. Dielectric constant increases and the dielectric loss decreases as the dopant concentration is increased resulting in high dielectric constant and low dielectric loss at x = 0.25. The surface work function (wf) has been calculated using Scanning Kelvin Probe technique. The wf results are correlated to the structural and then dielectric properties.
Sol–gel Thin film Ferromagnetism BiFeO3Manganese doping Dielectric constant
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