The magnetic properties of biologically produced magnetite nanocrystals biomineralized by four different magnetotactic bacteria were compared to those of synthetic magnetite nanocrystals and large, high-quality single crystals. The magnetic feature at the Verwey temperature TV was clearly seen in all nanocrystals, although its sharpness depended on the shape of individual nanoparticles and whether or not the particles were arranged in magnetosome chains. The transition was broader in the individual superparamagnetic nanoparticles for which TB < TV, where TB is the superparamagnetic blocking temperature. For nanocrystals organized in chains, the effective blocking temperature TB > TV and the Verwey transition is sharply defined. No correlation between particle size and TV was found. Furthermore, measurements of M (H,T,time) suggest that magnetosome chains behave as long magnetic dipoles where the local magnetic field is directed along the chain. This result confirms that time-logarithmic magnetic relaxation is due to the collective (dipolar) nature of the barrier for magnetic moment reorientation.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/mallapragada_surya_k/21/