Impedance Spectroscopy of Nanocrystalline MgFe2O4 and MnFe2O4 Ferrite Ceramics: Effect of Grain Boundaries on the Electrical Properties

  • Dalibor L. Sekulić Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad
  • Zorica Z. Lazarević Institute of Physics, University of Belgrade
  • Čedomir D. Jovalekić The Institute for Multidisciplinary Research, University of Belgrade
  • Aleksandra N. Milutinović Institute of Physics, University of Belgrade
  • Nebojša Z. Romčević Institute of Physics, University of Belgrade


Two ferrite ceramic materials, MgFe2O4 and MnFe2O4, were successfully fabricated by a conventional sintering of nanosized powders (at 1373 K for 2 h) synthesized by soft mechanochemical route. The particle size and morphology of powders were studied using X– ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). XRD analysis was carried out for the determination of phase purity, crystal structure and average crystallite size of sintered ferrites. Both mechanosynthesized ferrite samples show mean crystallite sizes in the nm–range. Over the frequency range of 100 Hz to 1 MHz, impedance spectra of prepared ferrite ceramics are investigated at and above room temperature. Changes in the impedance plane plots with temperature have been discussed and correlated to the microstructure of materials. An equivalent circuit model is applied to explore the electrical parameters (resistance and capacitance) associated with grains and grain boundaries. Complex impedance analysis indicates the dominance of grain boundary effects which control the overall electrical behaviour of studied ferrites. The decrease in grain boundary resistance with temperature suggests a thermally activated conduction mechanism.