The excellent chemical stability, good mechanical hardness, and a large positive first order magnetocrystalline anisotropy constant of cobalt ferrite (CoFe2O4) make it a promising candidate for magneto‐optical recording media. For practical applications, the capability to control particle size at the nanoscale is required in addition to precise control of the composition and structure of CoFe2O4. It has been well established that a fine tuning in cobalt ferrite nanocrystal size within the magnetic single domain region would lead to the achievement of extremely high coercivity values at room temperature. The development of a size‐sensitive phase separation method for cobalt ferrite that is based on a selective dissolution of the superparamagnetic fraction and subsequent size‐sensitive magnetic separation of single‐domain nanoparticles is presented. The attained room temperature coercivity value (11.9 kOe) was mainly attributed to the enlargement of the average crystal size within the single domain region coupled with the removal of the superparamagnetic fraction. The strong influence of crystal size, ferrite composition, and cation distribution in the ferrite lattice on the corresponding magnetic properties at the nanoscale was also confirmed. The superparamagnetic and magnetic single domain limits were experimentally determined.
Part of the book: Magnetic Spinels