Distinguishing magnetic particle size of iron oxide nanoparticles with first-order reversal curves

Monika Kumari, Marc Widdrat, Éva Tompa, Rene Uebe, Dirk Schüler, Mihály Pósfai, Damien Faivre, Ann M. Hirt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)


Magnetic nanoparticles encompass a wide range of scientific study and technological applications. The success of using the nanoparticles in various applications demands control over size, dispersibility, and magnetics. Hence, the nanoparticles are often characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction, and magnetic hysteresis loops. TEM analysis requires a thin layer of dispersed particles on the grid, which may often lead to particle aggregation thus making size analysis difficult. Magnetic hysteresis loops on the other hand provide information on the bulk property of the material without discriminating size, composition, and interaction effects. First order reversal curves (FORCs), described as an assembly of partial hysteresis loops originating from the major loop are efficient in identifying the domain size, composition, and interaction in a magnetic system. This study presents FORC diagrams on a variety of well-characterized biogenic and synthetic magnetite nanoparticles. It also introduces deconvoluted reversible and irreversible components from FORC as an important method for obtaining a semi-quantitative measure of the effective magnetic particle size. This is particularly important in a system with aggregation and interaction among the particles that often leads to either the differences between physical size and effective magnetic size. We also emphasize the extraction of secondary components by masking dominant coercivity fraction on FORC diagram to explore more detailed characterization of nanoparticle systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124304
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Kumari, M., Widdrat, M., Tompa, É., Uebe, R., Schüler, D., Pósfai, M., Faivre, D., & Hirt, A. M. (2014). Distinguishing magnetic particle size of iron oxide nanoparticles with first-order reversal curves. Journal of Applied Physics, 116(12), [124304]. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4896481