Magnetic Properties of Hydrothermally Recrystallized Magnetite Crystals

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Science  05 Jun 1987:
Vol. 236, Issue 4806, pp. 1287-1290
DOI: 10.1126/science.236.4806.1287


The discrepancy between the magnetic hysteresis properties of magnetite crystals that are precipitated from solution (<0.3 micrometer) and of crushed sifted grains (>0.3 micrometer) is not an inherent property of magnetite but is caused by the highly stressed state of crushed material and by adhering finer fragments. The size trends of magnetic properties exhibited by submicrometer-size precipitated grains continue in the size range from 1 micrometer to 1 millimeter in a set of hydrothermally recrystallized magnetite crystals. Coercive forces of these narrowly sized crystals follow a power law over a wide size range (0.1 micrometer to 1 millimeter) as predicted by theory. Dislocation etch pits show similar dislocation densities for hydrothermally grown (3 x 1010 meter -2) and natural (1 x 1010 meter-2) magnetite crystals. Hysteresis parameters of hydrothermally grown crystals are similar to those of natural crystals but are about one-fifth of those for crushed grains.