The Nonlinear Optical, Magnetic, and Mössbauer Spectral Properties of Some Iron(III) Doped Silica Xerogels


Iron(III) species dispersed in silica have been synthesized with a sol-gel process. The iron(III) was introduced as the acetylacetonate complex into a solution of tetraethoxysilane to yield, after evaporative drying, pellets or monoliths. Two gels were dried very slowly over a period of five months in order to prepare a defect free monolith useful for nonlinear optical studies. Z-scan experimental studies on the resulting, transparent, monolithic, doped solid revealed an optical Kerr effect, a third order nonlinear optical phenomenon showing a linear dependence of the refractive index on the irradiance with a nonlinear refractive index, n2, of −1.95 × 10−11 cm2/W. Magnetic susceptibility studies between 4.2 and 295 K revealed paramagnetic behavior with a Curie constant of 4.433 (emu/mol)K and a Weiss temperature of −7.1 K. Magnetization studies at 5 K and at applied fields of up to 4 T and Mössbauer spectral studies between 4.2 and 295 K revealed a 50:50 mixture of paramagnetic species and nanoparticles with an average particle radius of 1.3 ± 0.2 nm. A blocking temperature of 70 K and a magnetic anisotropy energy of 2.4 × 105 J/m3 are derived from the Mössbauer spectra.




Action de Recherche Concertée of the Communauté Française de Belgique
National Science Foundation of Belgium
Ministere de la Region Wallonne

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2006 Springer Verlag, All rights reserved.