A decrease in the crystallite diameter of ferrites irradiated with microwaves has been considered as a non-thermal effect of so-called de-crystallization; however, its mechanism has not been elucidated. We hypothesized that a decrease in the crystallite diameter is caused by interaction between the ordered spins of ferrite and the magnetic field of microwaves. To verify this, we focused on magnetite with a Curie temperature of 585◦C. Temperature dependence around this temperature and time dependence of the crystallite diameter of the magnetite irradiated with microwaves at different temperatures and durations were investigated. From the X-ray diffraction data, the crystallite diameter of magnetite exhibited a minimum value at 500◦C, just below the Curie temperature of magnetite, where the energy loss of the interaction between magnetite’s spins and the microwaves takes the maximum value. The crystallite diameter exhibited a minimum value at 5 min irradiation time, during which the microwaves were excessively absorbed. Transmission electron microscopy observations showed that the microstructure of irradiated magnetite in this study was different from that reported previously, indicating that a decrease in the crystallite diameter is not caused by de-crystallization but its similar phenomenon. A decrease in coercivity and lowering temperature of Verwey transition were observed, evidencing decreased crystallite diameter. This study can thus contribute to the development of the theory of a non-thermal effect.
ASJC Scopus subject areas