The copper (Cu) substitution in barium hexaferrite (BaFe12O19) crystals from the sol-gel auto-combustion synthesis is demonstrated as a cost-effective pathway to achieve alterable magnetic properties. Subsequent heat treatments at 450 °C and 1050 °C result in irregularly shaped nanoparticles characterized as the M-type BaFe12O19 with the secondary phase of hematite (α-Fe2O3). Despite the mixed phase, the substantial coercivity of 2626 Oe and magnetization as high as 74.8 emu/g are obtained in this undoped ferrite. The copper (Cu) doing strongly affects morphology and magnetic properties of BaFe12-xCuxO19 (x = 0.1, 0.3, and 0.5). The majority of particles become microrods for x = 0.1 and microplates in the case of x = 0.3 and 0.5. The coercivity and magnetization tend to reduce as Cu2+ increasingly substitutes Fe3+. From these findings, magnetic properties for various applications in microwave absorbers, recording media, electrodes, and permanent magnets can be tailored by the partial substitution in hexaferrite crystals.
Keywords: barium hexaferrite; coercivity; magnetization; morphology; sol-gel auto-combustion.