Study on room temperature magnetic behaviour of Tb-doped ZnO nanoparticles

G. Singh Lotey, Z. Jindal, V. Kumar, N.K. Verma
Thapar University, India, US

Keywords: nanoparticles, ZnO, dilute magnetic semiconductors

Summary:

The dilute magnetic semiconductor (DMS) has attracted much attention because of potential applications in “Spintronic” devices, which exploit spin in magnetic materials along with charge of electrons in semiconductors. The original idea of DMS was to dope magnetic elements (rare earth or transition metal) into a semiconductor host to make semiconductor, magnetic at room temperature. ZnO has a gap of 3.37 eV at room temperature and a large exciton binding energy 60 meV, which makes it as a potential candidate for applications in the field of solar cells, transparent conducting oxide thin film electrodes, diluted magnetic semiconductor, nanopiezotronics, and electroacoustic transducers. Among the potential host materials for DMS, ZnO has been extensively studied since it was predicted to be a promising host material to achieve room temperature DMS. Here we report, room temperature magnetic behavior of Tb-doped ZnO nanoparticles. The present study shows clearly that the occurrence of defect induced room temperature behaviour in pure ZnO nanoparticles. It also reveals that doping of Tb metal in ZnO reduces the defects and ferromagnetic behaviour switch to antiferromagnetic.