Chemico-Viscous Remanent Magnetization in the Fe3O4-yFe2O3 System

Science  24 Feb 1989:
Vol. 243, Issue 4894, pp. 1043-1047
DOI: 10.1126/science.243.4894.1043


The chemical remanent magnetization (CRM) acquired when single-domain size magnetite (Fe304) oxidizes to maghemite (γFe2O3) in a 50-microtesla field at a series of 13 temperatures from 1000 to 6560C is of similar intensity to viscous remanent magnetization (VRM) acquired under the same field and temperature conditions by unoxidized magnetite. The remanences of the oxidized and unoxidized phases also have similar resistances to demagnetization. These similarities imply that the remanence of the oxidized material is a chemico-viscous remanent magnetization (CVRM) having some of the characteristics of both classic growth CRM and thermally activated VRM. At low temperatures in partially oxidized grains, VRM of the magnetite core and growth CRM of the maghemite surface layer contribute about equally to CVRM. Near the Curie point, intensity of CVRM increases to a Hopkinson-type peak. High-temperature CVRM is more resistant to demagnetization than the thermoremanent magnetization (TRM) produced from cooling through the Curie point.