Study of structural properties and defects of Ni-doped SnO2 nanorods as ethanol gas sensors.
With a view to investigate the structural, electronic and magnetic properties of Ni (5%) doped SnO(2) diluted magnetic semiconductor nanorods prepared by a PEG-6000 assisted wet chemical route, a systematic investigation has been carried out. The micro structural properties were investigated by Rietveld refinement of XRD data, AFM, TEM, EDS, SAED, FTIR, Raman scattering and XPS measurements. These studies revealed that Sn0.95Ni0.05O2 nanorods have a polycrystalline single phase tetragonal rutile structure without any detectable impurity phases and the aspect ratios of the nanorods are in the range 2.85-10.2. The deconvoluted XPS core level Ni 2p spectral studies determined the oxidation state of Ni as +2. The nanosize effects and local defects are found to influence the local electronic structure of materials. From M-H, M-T, magnetic force microscopy (MFM) and ESR studies, all the samples are found to exhibit clear room temperature ferromagnetism without any metallic clusters. The magnetization behaviour is found to depend on the overlap of percolated bound magnetic polarons and their interactions with dopant induced defects. The magnetic exchange interactions are found to depend on the aggregation behaviour of nanorods, exchange media, the surface diffusion behaviour of randomly distributed Ni ions and the modification of electronic structure.