Large negative giant magnetoresistance at room temperature and electrical transport in cobalt ferrite-polyaniline nanocomposites

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At room temperature, a large negative out-of-plane magnetoresistance (MR), [R(H)-R(0)]/R(0), with a value of −35.76% at magnetic field of 9 T has been obtained in the cobalt ferrite (CoFe2O4)/polyaniline (PANI) nanocomposites with CoFe2O4 loading of 40.0 wt% prepared by surface initiated polymerization (SIP) method, which is strongly related to the weak localization (WL) model in the weak disordered system. The negative MR at room temperature in the CoFe2O4/PANI nanocomposites exhibits the obvious nanoparticle loading and magnetic field dependent properties. Both thermal activated transport model and Mott variable range hopping (VRH) model are applied to express the electrical transport mechanism for the temperature regimes of 180–290 K and 50–180 K, accordingly. The electrical transport in the CoFe2O4/PANI nanocomposites obeys the 3D VRH transport mechanism at low temperature range of 50–180 K. The estimated activation energy Eg for the CoFe2O4/PANI nanocomposites with different CoFe2O4 nanoparticle loadings of 10.0, 20.0, 40.0, and 60.0 wt% is 61, 63, 65, and 87 meV, respectively. The coating of PANI on the surface of CoFe2O4 nanoparticle reveals the significant effect on both the remanence and coercivity of CoFe2O4 nanoparticle.

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