Revealing common artifacts due to ferromagnetic inclusions in highly oriented pyrolytic graphitea
School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manchester - Manchester M13 9PL, UK, EU
Accepted: 11 January 2012
We report on an extensive investigation to figure out the origin of room temperature ferromagnetism that is commonly observed by SQUID magnetometry in highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG). Electron backscattering and X-ray microanalysis revealed the presence of micron-size magnetic clusters (predominantly Fe) that are rare and would be difficult to detect without careful search in a scanning electron microscope in the backscattering mode. The clusters pin to crystal boundaries and their quantities match the amplitude of typical ferromagnetic signals. No ferromagnetic response is detected in samples where we could not find such magnetic inclusions. Our experiments show that the frequently reported ferromagnetism in pristine HOPG is most likely to originate from contamination with Fe-rich inclusions introduced presumably during crystal growth.
PACS: 75.50.Dd – Nonmetallic ferromagnetic materials / 75.20.Ck – Nonmetals / 73.22.Pr – Electronic structure of graphene
© EPLA, 2012