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Magnetic Hysteresis Properties of Magnetite: Trends with Particle Size and Shape
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  • Greig Paterson,
  • Roberto Moreno,
  • Adrian Muxworthy,
  • Lesleis Nagy,
  • Wyn Williams,
  • Lisa Tauxe
Greig Paterson
Department of Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences, University of Liverpool

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Roberto Moreno
Instituto de Física Enrique Gaviola
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Adrian Muxworthy
Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London
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Lesleis Nagy
Department of Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences, University of Liverpool
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Wyn Williams
School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh
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Lisa Tauxe
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Magnetic hysteresis measurements are routinely made in the Earth and planetary sciences to identify geologically meaningful  magnetic recorders, and to study variations in present and past environments.
Interpreting magnetic hysteresis data in terms of domain state (particle size)  and paleomagnetic stability are major motivations behind undertaking these measurements, but the interpretations remain  fraught with challenges and ambiguities.
To shed new light on these ambiguities, we have undertaken a systematic micromagnetic study to quantify the magnetic hysteresis behavior of room-temperature magnetite as a function of particle size (50-195 nm; equivalent spherical volume diameter) and shape (oblate, prolate and equant);
our models span uniformly magnetized single domain (SD) to non-uniformly magnetized single vortex (SV) states.
Within our models the reduced magnetization  marks a clear boundary between SD (≥0.5) and SV (<0.5) magnetite.
We further identify particle sizes and shapes with unexpectedly low coercivity and coercivity of remanence. These low coercivity regions correspond to magnetite particles that typically have multiple possible magnetic domain states, which has been previously linked to a zone of unstable magnetic recorders.
Of all hysteresis parameters investigated, transient hysteresis is most sensitive to particles that exhibit such domain state multiplicity, leading us to suggest that transient behavior be more routinely measured during rock magnetic investigations.
11 Jan 2024Submitted to ESS Open Archive
13 Jan 2024Published in ESS Open Archive