Background: Spinel ferrites have great scientific and technological significance because of their easy
manufacturing, low cost and outstanding electrical and magnetic properties. Nickel ferrite nanoparticles are a
ferromagnetic material with an inverse spinel structure. They show remarkable magnetic properties and hence
have a wide range of applications in magnetic storage devices, microwave devices, gas sensors, telecommunication,
drug delivery, catalysis and magnetic resonance imaging.
Objective: The aim and objective of this research article are to study the relative effect of NiErxFe2-xO4 nanoparticles
and their composites with reduced graphene oxide (rGO) for the photocatalytic degradation reaction and
other physical parameters.
Method: Rare earth Er3+ substituted NiErxFe2-xO4 nanoparticles were synthesized via the facile wet chemical
route. Six different compositions of NiErxFe2-xO4 with varied Er3+ contents such as (x) = 0.00, 0.005, 0.01, 0.015,
0.02 and 0.025 were selected for evaluation of the effect of Er3+ on various parameters of NiFe2O4 nanoparticles.
Reduced graphene oxide (rGO) was prepared by Hummer’s method and was characterized by UV-Visible spectroscopy,
X-ray powder diffraction and Raman spectroscopy. Nano-heterostructures of NiErxFe2-xO4 with rGO
were prepared by the ultra-sonication method.
Results: X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) confirmed the spinel cubic structure of all the compositions of NiErx-
Fe2-xO4 nanoparticles. The photocatalytic degradation rate of methylene blue and congo red under visible light
irradiation was found faster in the presence of NiErxFe2-xO4-rGO nanocomposites as compared to bare nanoparticles.
It was also investigated that as the Er3+ contents were increased in NiErxFe2-xO4 nanoparticles, the dielectric
parameters were largely affected. The room temperature DC-resistivity measurements showed that the Er3+ contents
in NiFe2O4 are responsible for the increased electrical resistivity of ferrite particles. The electrochemical
impedance spectroscopic (EIS) analysis of NiErxFe2-xO4 nanoparticles and NiErxFe2-xO4-rGO nanocomposites
revealed that the ferrite particles possess low conductance as compared to the corresponding composites with
Conclusion: The data obtained from all these characterization techniques suggested the potential applications of
the NiErxFe2-xO4 nanoparticles and NiErxFe2-xO4-rGO nanocomposites for visible light driven photo-catalysis and
high-frequency devices fabrication.
Keywords: Ferrites, spinel ferrites, Reduced Graphene Oxide (rGO), nano-heterostructures, photocatalysis, electrochemical impedance spectroscopyFerrites, spinel ferrites, Reduced Graphene Oxide (rGO), nano-heterostructures, photocatalysis, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
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