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Temperature dependence of electron magnetic resonance spectra of iron oxide nanoparticles mineralized in Listeria innocua protein cages

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8 Author(s)
Usselman, Robert J. ; National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, Colorado 80305, USA ; Russek, Stephen E. ; Klem, Michael T. ; Allen, Mark A.
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Electron magnetic resonance (EMR) spectroscopy was used to determine the magnetic properties of maghemite (γ-Fe2O3) nanoparticles formed within size-constraining Listeria innocua (LDps)-(DNA-binding protein from starved cells) protein cages that have an inner diameter of 5 nm. Variable-temperature X-band EMR spectra exhibited broad asymmetric resonances with a superimposed narrow peak at a gyromagnetic factor of g ≈ 2. The resonance structure, which depends on both superparamagnetic fluctuations and inhomogeneous broadening, changes dramatically as a function of temperature, and the overall linewidth becomes narrower with increasing temperature. Here, we compare two different models to simulate temperature-dependent lineshape trends. The temperature dependence for both models is derived from a Langevin behavior of the linewidth resulting from “anisotropy melting.” The first uses either a truncated log-normal distribution of particle sizes or a bi-modal distribution and then a Landau-Liftshitz lineshape to describe the nanoparticle resonances. The essential feature of this model is that small particles have narrow linewidths and account for the g ≈ 2 feature with a constant resonance field, whereas larger particles have broad linewidths and undergo a shift in resonance field. The second model assumes uniform particles with a diameter around 4 nm and a random distribution of uniaxial anisotropy axes. This model uses a more precise calculation of the linewidth due to superparamagnetic fluctuations and a random distribution of anisotropies. Sharp features in the spectrum near g ≈ 2 are qualitatively predicted at high temperatures. Both models can account for many features of the observed spectra, although each has deficiencies. The first model leads to a nonphysical increase in magnetic moment as the temperature is increased if a log norm- l distribution of particles sizes is used. Introducing a bi-modal distribution of particle sizes resolves the unphysical increase in moment with temperature. The second model predicts low-temperature spectra that differ significantly from the observed spectra. The anisotropy energy density K1, determined by fitting the temperature-dependent linewidths, was ∼50 kJ/m3, which is considerably larger than that of bulk maghemite. The work presented here indicates that the magnetic properties of these size-constrained nanoparticles and more generally metal oxide nanoparticles with diameters d < 5 nm are complex and that currently existing models are not sufficient for determining their magnetic resonance signatures.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:112 ,  Issue: 8 )

Date of Publication:

Oct 2012

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