Investigating phase transition temperatures of size separated gadolinium silicide magnetic nanoparticles
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Gadolinium silicide (Gd5Si4) nanoparticles (NPs) exhibit different properties compared to their parent bulk materials due to finite size, shape, and surface effects. NPs were prepared by high energy ball-milling of the as-cast Gd5Si4ingot and size separated into eight fractions using time sensitive sedimentation in an applied dc magnetic field with average particle sizes ranging from 700 nm to 82 nm. The largest Gd5Si4 NPs order ferromagnetically at 316 K. A second anomaly observed at 110 K can be ascribed to a Gd5Si3 impurity. As the particle sizes decrease, the volume fraction of Gd5Si3 phase increases at the expense of the Gd5Si4 phase, and the ferromagnetic transition temperature of Gd5Si4 is reduced from 316 K to 310 K, while the ordering of the minor phase is independent of the particle size, remaining at 110 K.