Spinodal Decomposition in the Mg-Al-Fe-O System

Yoshihiro Kusano, Taiki Furuta, Ryosuke Maki, Tomoyuki Ogawa, Tatsuo Fujii

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A supersaturated spinel solid solution having a nominal compositional ratio of Mg/Al/Fe = 0.5:1.0:1.5 was prepared using a conventional solid-state reaction at 1573 K in air followed by quenching in ice water. The formula of the resulting spinel structure compound (the spinel) was determined to be (Mg0.50AlFe0.262+Fe1.243+)0.97O4based on a Rietveld refinement and thermogravimetry, indicating a cation-deficient spinel structure having mixed valences of Fe. This spinel was found to decompose to γ-Fe2O3and a modified, Fe-poor spinel structure compound via a spinodal decomposition below 855 K. The spinodal temperature was estimated using the sidebands appearing in X-ray diffraction patterns in addition to the temperature dependence of magnetization values. This spinodal decomposition was accompanied by the oxidation of Fe2+to Fe3+and produced a unique grid-like microstructure (with a grid width of approximately 25 nm) along with enhancement of the saturated magnetization of the material. A sample cooled to room temperature in a furnace after heating at 1573 K in air had a lamella structure having a width of approximately 0.1 μm and comprised particles with a mixture of γ-Fe2O3and the Fe-poor spinel compound on their surfaces. Subsequent heating of this same material to 1373 K in air formed ϵ-Fe2O3in the particles. The crystallographic relationship between ϵ-Fe2O3and the modified spinel structure compound was aϵ// [112¯ ]s, bϵ// [1¯ 10]s, and cϵ// [111]s(where ϵ and s indicate the ϵ-Fe2O3and spinel, respectively).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18170-18180
Number of pages11
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Issue number45
Publication statusPublished - Nov 14 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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