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CERAMICS
INTERNATIONAL

Ceramics International 41 (2015) 31783185


www.elsevier.com/locate/ceramint

Structural, electrical and dielectric properties of spinel type MgAl2O4


nanocrystalline ceramic particles synthesized by the gel-combustion method
O. Padmaraja, M. Venkateswarlub, N. Satyanarayanaa,n
a

Department of Physics, Pondicherry University, Kalapet 605014, India


b
Amara Raja Batteries Ltd, Karakambadi 517520, India

Received 27 August 2014; received in revised form 29 October 2014; accepted 29 October 2014
Available online 6 November 2014

Abstract
Nanocrystalline spinel type magnesium aluminate (MgAl2O4) ceramic material was synthesized by gel-combustion method. The structural,
microstructural, morphology, electrical and dielectric properties of the prepared spinel type MgAl2O4 ceramic material were studied by different
techniques such as X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopyenergy dispersive
X-ray spectroscopy (SEMEDX), surface area analyzer (BET) and impedance spectroscopy. The X-ray diffraction pattern and IR spectrum of
magnesium aluminate material conrm the formation of impurity free nanocrystalline phase with spinel structure. The specic surface area
calculated from the 1/[W((Po/P) 1)] vs relative pressure (P/Po) plot of the annealed MgAl2O4 powder is found to be 162.704 m2/g. The
temperature dependent conductivity of nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 pellet was studied and the conductivity of nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 pellet at
573 K is found to be 4.9213  1013 S cm  1. The activation energies were evaluated from log T vs 1000/T plot of the observed two different
temperature dependent conductivity regions of the nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 sample and are found to be E1 0.1828 eV (o 503 K) and
E2 0.8791 eV (4 503 K).
& 2014 Elsevier Ltd and Techna Group S.r.l. All rights reserved.

Keywords: C. Electrical and dielectric properties; D. Spinel; Gel-combustion; MgAl2O4

1. Introduction
There are many oxides having the XY2O4 [X is 2 oxidation
state cation, Y is 3 oxidation state cation and O anion] structure
that crystallize as spinel aluminates and ferrites structures with
general formula MAl2O4 (M Mg, Zn, etc.) and MFe2O4 (M Co,
Mg, Mn, Ni, etc.) respectively [13]. All the spinel structured
materials show remarkable optical, electrical and magnetic properties and are used in wide range of applications, including refractory
materials, humidity sensors, ultrahigh temperature materials, tunable
solid state lasers, integrated electronic devices, catalysis, catalyst
support, ceramic llers, etc [48]. The normal spinel structure
contains 8X, 16Y and 32 oxygen atoms. This close packing
contains 64 tetrahedral interstices surrounded by 4 O2 ions and 32
octahedral interstices surrounded by 6 O2 ions. Out of 96
n

Corresponding author. Tel.: 91 413 2654404; fax: 91 413 2655348.


E-mail address: nallanis2011@gmail.com (N. Satyanarayana).

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ceramint.2014.10.169
0272-8842/& 2014 Elsevier Ltd and Techna Group S.r.l. All rights reserved.

interstices (64 tetrahedral and 32 octahedral) between the anions,


only 24 cations (8 X2 and 16 Y3 ) are occupied in normal spinel
compounds [1].
Among the available spinel compounds, magnesium aluminate spinel (MAS) attracts a great deal of attention, because of
its properties such as high melting point (2135 1C), high
hardness (16 GPa), high mechanical strength both at room
(135216 MPa) as well as at elevated temperatures (120
205 MPa at 1300 1C), high resistance against chemical attack,
wide band gap energy, high electrical resistivity, relatively low
thermal expansion coefcient (9  10  6 1C  1 between 30 and
1400 1C), high thermal shock resistance, low dielectric constant
( 7.5), low loss tangent (tan 4  10  4) and low density
(3.58 g cm  3) [912]. The low density property MgAl2O4
material limits its aforementioned applications. In order to
improve the density of spinel ceramics, two successful
approaches have been used by the incorporation of additives
and pressure assisted sintering [13,14]. More recent studies have

O. Padmaraj et al. / Ceramics International 41 (2015) 31783185

shown that reducing grain size to the nanocrystalline range is


one of the promising ways for improving the density properties
of spinel ceramics [15]. However, dense MgAl2O4 spinel
ceramic materials of stoichiometric composition with highpurity characteristics are difcult to fabricate directly from
individual mixtures of Al2O3 and MgO powders via conventional solid state reaction method [16]. Conventional solid state
synthesis routes for the preparation of MgAl2O4 particles require
high calcination temperatures, long reaction times and generating powders suffer from severe agglomeration and grain growth,
which often prevent obtaining ultrane non-agglomerated nanopowders. The successful fabrication of dense spinel at reasonable ring temperature seems to lie in the production of highly
reactive, phase-pure spinel powders [1617].
In recent years, various wet-chemical techniques, such as
hydroxide coprecipitation, solgel, microwave, precipitation,
hydrothermal, modied pechinic process, ame spray pyrolysis and combustion methods, have been successfully employed
for the preparation of pure spinel powders [1828]. In general,
spinel ceramic materials prepared by aforementioned methods
showed a high degree of chemical homogeneity, high surface
area, better control of stoichiometry and improved sinterability when compared with the conventional solid-state reaction method.
Among these methods, combustion synthesis is an easy and
convenient one to obtain ultra-ne homogeneous powders,
which offer many distinct advantages such as high surface area
with less reaction time, and compositionally homogeneous
powder, usually with low levels of residual carbon contents in
the reaction products [2326]. The quick, safe and low cost
route takes advantage of the exothermic and self-sustaining
redox chemical reactions between high oxygen content metal
nitrates (oxidizer) and suitable fuels (urea, glycine, citric acid)
that act as a reducing agent. Parameters such as the type of
fuel, fuel to oxidizer ratio, ignition temperature, etc., inuences
the reaction product. According to the principle of propellant
chemistry, the ratio of net oxidizing valency electrons of metal
nitrate to the net reducing valency electrons of fuel should be
unity, for stoichiometric redox chemical reactions between a
fuel and an oxidant of molar ratio (O/F). The oxidizer/fuel
molar ratio (O/F) 1 is considered the perfect ratio for
combustion synthesis [3,23]. Use of stoichiometric amounts
of metal nitrates and fuel ratio will lead to the formation of
ultrane pure phase compound.
In the present work, glycine (NH2 CH2 COOH) was used as
a fuel because of its low cost, alternative to urea and citric acid.
It has a relatively negative heat of combustion ( 3.24
kcalg  1) as compared to urea ( 2.98 kcalg  1) or citric acid
( 2.76 kcalg  1) [3]. Based on the propellant chemistry, the
magnesium aluminate spinel ceramic material was prepared by
using glycine assisted gel-combustion process. The prepared
ultrane MgAl2O4 ceramic powder was characterized by XRD,
FTIR, SEMEDX and BET surface area analysis. The
electrical and dielectric properties of the prepared nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 ceramic material were studied at different
temperatures in the frequency range of 10 MHz 0.01 Hz
using a frequency response analyzer.

3179

2. Experimental
2.1. Synthesis of MgAl2O4 nanoparticles
Magnesium nitrate (Mg(NO3)2  6H2O), Aluminum nitrate
(Al(NO3)3  9H2O) and glycine (NH2  CH2  COOH) were used
as starting chemicals for the preparation of nanocrystalline
MgAl2O4 spherical particles by glycine assisted gel-combustion method. Based on the propellant chemistry, the calculated stoichiometric amounts of metal nitrates [magnesium
nitrate (1 M) and aluminum nitrate (2 M)] and fuel [glycine
(4.44/3 1.48 M)] were dissolved separately in the required
quantity of distilled water. Both the metal nitrate solutions were
mixed at 60 1C under continuous stirring for 30 min. Later, the
glycine solution was slowly added to the above mixed metal
nitrates solution. The resultant mixed solution was stirred
continuously at 80 1C till the formation of highly viscous light
yellow color polymeric resin. The obtained polymeric resin was
kept in a hot air oven at 60 1C for 24 h to form the dried gel.
Then, the dried gel was calcined up to 300 1C for 3 h to ignite
the metal nitrates and organic fuels. Further, it was calcined at
1000 1C for 6 h to obtain phase-pure nanocrystalline MgAl2O4
particles. A ow chart of the glycine assisted gel-combustion
process for the preparation of nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 spherical particles is shown in Fig. 1.

2.2. Characterization techniques


X-ray diffraction (XRD) pattern was recorded for the prepared
MgAl2O4 powder from 101 to 801using a PANalytical X-pert
PRO diffractometer (Philips) with Cu-K radiation ( 0.154060
nm) and 30 mA current and 40 kV voltage was applied to the Xray tube. The average crystallite size was calculated using
Scherrer's formula, D 0.9/ cos , where D is the average
Mg(NO3)2.6H2O

Al(NO3)3.9H2O

NH2.CH2 COOH

Dissolved in DI water
Stirred for 30 min at 60 oC
Homogeneous transparent
solution
Heated at 80 oC
Highly Viscous Gel
Calcined at 300 oC
Polymeric Intermediate
Annealed at 1000 oC
Nanocrystalline MgAl2O4
Powder

Fig. 1. Flow chart for the preparation of nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 particles.

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O. Padmaraj et al. / Ceramics International 41 (2015) 31783185

crystallite size, is the wavelength of X-ray, is the full-width


half maximum and is the diffracted peak position. Fourier
transform infrared (FTIR) spectrum of the nanocrystalline
MgAl2O4 sample was recorded in the range of 4000
400 cm  1 using a NICOLET 6700 Spectrophotometer with
4 cm  1 resolution for 20 scans. The morphology and existence of
elements, O, Mg, Al, in the prepared nanocrystalline MgAl2O4
sample are obtained using SEMEDX (Hitachi S4700) with an
accelerating voltage of 15 kV. The prepared nanocrystalline
MgAl2O4 sample was degassed at 150 1C for 2 h in vacuum to
determine the specic surface area of MgAl2O4 powder by the
adsorption method under nitrogen gas at liquid nitrogen (LN2)
temperature using a BET Quantasorb (Quantochrome, USA). For
conductivity measurements, the prepared nanocrystalline
MgAl2O4 powder was pressed into pellets of 10 mm diameter
and  1 mm thickness using a KBr hydraulic press. Platinum
paste is applied on both sides of the sintered MgAl2O4 pellet as
electrodes. Each pellet was placed between two copper discs of
14 mm diameter and the impedance data was measured by
sweeping the frequency range from 10 MHz to 0.01 Hz using a
Novocontrol Alpha A High frequency response analyzer (Novocontrol, Germany) at different temperatures in a constant interval
of 20 1C ranging from 150 1C to 300 1C. The measured impedance data were analyzed using WINFIT' software and the bulk
resistance was obtained (Rb). The pellet dimensions and the bulk
resistances were used for calculating the d.c. and a.c.conductivities, activation energy, dielectric constant and dielectric loss of the
nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 sample.
The d.c.conductivity () of nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 sample
was calculated using the following equation:
t
S=cm
1

ARb
where t is the thickness, A is the area and Rb is the bulk
resistance obtained from the analyzed impedance data.
The temperature dependence of conductivity was calculated
using the following Arrhenius Equation:


0
 Ea
T exp
2
T
kB T
where, 0 is the pre-exponential factor or zero temperature
conductivity, E is the activation energy, kB is Boltzmann's
constant and T is the temperature.
The dielectric permittivity and dielectric loss of the prepared
material were calculated using the following equations:
Cd
0 A

0 tan

where ' is the dielectric permittivity of MgAl2O4 samples, C


the capacitance of the sample, d the thickness of the pellets, A
the area of the pellets and 0 the permittivity of free space. The
a.c. conductivity of the sample was determined from the loss
tangent by using the following relation:
a:c: 0 ' tan
where, is the angular frequency.

Fig. 2. X-ray diffraction pattern of nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 sample obtained


at 1000 1C along with the JCPDS data.

Fig. 3. FTIR spectrum of nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 sample obtained at


1000 1C.

3. Results and discussion


3.1. X-ray diffraction (XRD)
Fig. 2 shows the powder X-ray diffraction pattern of the
prepared MgAl2O4 powder obtained at 1000 1C along with the
standard JCPDS card no. 01-084-0377. In Fig. 2, the observed
high and low intensity diffraction peaks at 18.981, 31.241,
36.851, 42.831, 44.771, 55.701, 59.401, 62.201, 65.241, 74.131
and 77.291 are compared with the standard JCPDS # 01-0840377 data and the formation of pure crystalline phase of
MgAl2O4 spinel structure with space group Fd-3m is conrmed. The calculated lattice parameter of MgAl2O4 crystalline sample is found to be 8.0806 and it is close to the reported
value of the magnesium aluminate. The average crystallite size
of the prepared annealed sample was determined from X-ray
line broadening using the Scherrer formula and it is found to
be 30 nm. All the observed peaks 18.981, 31.241, 36.851,
42.831, 44.771, 55.701, 59.401, 62.201, 65.241, 74.131 and

O. Padmaraj et al. / Ceramics International 41 (2015) 31783185

3181

77.291 were indexed to the corresponding lattice planes (hkl):


(111), (220), (311), (222), (400), (422), (511), (440), (531),
(620) and (533) , respectively and these are well matched with
the reported values [2527].
3.2. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)
Fig. 3 shows the FTIR transmittance spectrum of nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 sample obtained at 1000 1C. In Fig. 3, the
MgAl2O4 shows IR bands at 686 cm  1 and 526 cm  1 and
these arise due to the stretching vibration of MgO4 tetrahedral
and AlO6 octahedral groups respectively in the MgAl2O4 spinel
structure [2628]. Hence, the observed XRD and IR results
conrm the formation of impurity free MgAl2O4 nanocrystalline
spinel structure. This was further conformed from SEMEDX.
3.3. Scanning electron microscopyenergy dispersive X-ray
spectroscopy (SEMEDX)
Fig. 4a shows the SEM images of the magnesium aluminate
(MgAl2O4) sample. In Fig. 4a, all the SEM images show
agglomerated spherical MgAl2O4 particles and their particle
sizes are found to be E100150 nm [28]. Fig. 4b shows the
energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectrum of magnesium aluminate, indicating the existence of O, Mg and Al elements in the
MgAl2O4 compound. The percentages of each element (O, Mg
and Al) of MgAl2O4 are obtained from energy dispersive X-ray
Table. 1
Percentage of each element (Mg, Al, O) obtained from SEMEDX spectrum of
nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 sample.

Fig. 4. (a) SEM images of nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 a) powder and bd) pellet
obtained at 1000 1C at different magnications. (b) EDX spectrum of nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 sample obtained at 1000 1C. (c) SEMEDX elemental (Mg,
Al and O) mappings of nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 sample obtained at 1000 1C.

Element

Net counts

Weight (%)

Atom (%)

Formula

O-K
Mg-K
Al-K
Total

3896
8006
16,102

37.33
17.76
44.92
100.00

49.34
15.45
35.21
100.00

O
Mg
Al

Fig. 5. 1/[W((Po/P)1)] vs P/Po plot of nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 sample


obtained at 1000 1C.

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O. Padmaraj et al. / Ceramics International 41 (2015) 31783185

spectrum and are presented in Table. 1. Fig. 4c shows the SEM


EDX of all the elemental mappings of magnesium aluminate
and conrms a uniform distribution of O, Mg and Al elements
in the prepared magnesium aluminate compound. The SEM
EDX results conrm the formation of exact composition of
spinal type magnesium aluminate compound with Mg, Al and O
elements and that they are free from organic impurities.
3.4. BET surface area analysis
The prepared nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 sample was
degassed at 150 1C for 2 h in vacuum to determine the specic
surface area of the prepared samples by the adsorption method
under nitrogen gas at liquid nitrogen (LN2) temperature using
BET Quantasorb (Quantochrome, USA). Fig. 5 shows the 1/
[W((Po/P) 1)] vs relative pressure (P/Po) plot of magnesium
aluminate powder obtained at 1000 1C. In Fig. 5, the slope (A)
and the intercept (I) are obtained from the 1/[W((Po/P)  1)] vs
relative pressure (P/Po) plot of the degassed magnesium
aluminate sample. The slope (A) and the intercept (I) values
are used to calculate the specic surface area of the MgAl2O4
sample and it is found to be 162.704 m2/g [27].
4. Electrical conductivity studies
4.1. Impedance analysis
Fig. 6 shows the complex impedance plot (real Z0 vs
imaginary Z) of nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 powder in the
frequency range from 10 MHz to 0.01 Hz at different temperatures, ranging from 150 1C to 300 1C. From Fig. 6, the observed
impedance spectra of MgAl2O4 pellet at different temperatures
show an incomplete depressed semicircle in the measured
frequency range. From Fig. 6, it can be observed that the
intercept of each depressed semicircles on real axis shifts
towards high frequency side with increase in temperatures,
which indicates that the bulk resistance (Rb) of MgAl2O4 sample
decreases and hence, the electrical conductivity increases with
increase of temperature. The observed impedance spectra of the
magnesium aluminate sample were tted using WINFIT' software and its bulk resistance (Rb) and also its electrical behavior

Fig. 6. Complex impedance spectra obtained at various temperatures of the


nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 sample.

in the form of equivalent electrical circuit (parallel combination


of RC elements) was obtained. The intercept of each incomplete
semicircle on the real axis (Z0 ) gives the bulk resistance (Rb) of
nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 pellet. The total conductivity of
nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 pellet was calculated using the bulk
resistance (Rb) obtained from the analyzed impedance data and
pellet dimensions. The measured bulk resistance (Rb) and
calculated conductivity () values at different temperatures of
nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 pellet are given in Table. 2. The
conductivity of nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 sample at 573 K is
found to be 4.9213  10  13 S cm  1.
4.2. Temperature dependent conductivity
Fig. 7 shows the log T vs 1000/T plot of nanocrystalline
MgAl2O4 sample. In Fig. 7, the log T vs 1000/T plot shows
two different conductivity regions (o503 K and 4503 K),
which indicates the existence of two different conductivity
mechanisms in two different regions. From Fig. 7, the activation
energy of magnesium aluminate sample was estimated by tting
the observed temperature dependence conductivity data to the
Arrhenius equation using least squares linear t in two different
temperature regions [29,30].
The activation energies (E1 and E2) are calculated for the two
different regions (o503 K and 4503 K) by the following
Table. 2
Measured bulk resistance (Rb) and calculated conductivity () values at
different temperatures of nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 pellet (thickness of pellet:
0.994 mm).
Sl. no.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

Temperatures (oC)

150
170
190
210
230
250
270
290
300

Nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 sample


Rb ()

(S cm  1)

5.144  1012
4.737  1012
4.821  1012
3.889  1012
2.573  1012
1.300  1012
6.202  1011
3.253  1011
2.573  1011

2.4615  10  14
2.6265  10  14
2.6731  10  14
3.2559  10  14
4.9213  10  14
9.7403  10  14
2.0417  10  13
3.8925  10  13
4.9213  10  13

Fig. 7. log(T) vs 1000/T plot for the nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 sample.

O. Padmaraj et al. / Ceramics International 41 (2015) 31783185

equation:
E1 E2

2:303  1000m1 m2 kB
e

where m is the slope and e the electronic charge. The activation


energies at two different temperature regions of nanocrystalline
MgAl2O4 sample are found to be E1=0.1828 eV (o503 K),
E2=0.8791 eV (4503 K).
The conductivity in low temperature region (o 503 K) may
be expressed as


0
 E1
T exp
7
T
kB T
where E1=Em is the activation energy required for the
migration of charge carriers.
The conductivity in high temperature region (4 503 K) may
be expressed as


0
 E2
T exp
8
T
kB T
where E2=Ef Em, Ef and Em are the energies required for the
defect formation (Ef ) and migration of charge carriers (Em) ,
respectively. It is observed that the E2 value obtained from the
high temperature region is higher than the E1 value obtained
from the low temperature region. The observed high E2 value
may be due to the formation of defect (Ef) as well as migration
of charge carriers (Em) at higher temperature [30].

3183

According to Allah and Fayek [31], in the spinel structure


nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 sample, the presence of A13 ions in
octahedral sites and Mg2 ions in tetrahedral sites is responsible
for electric conduction due to the transfer of electrons between
A13 and Mg2 ions through hopping conduction mechanism.
These charge carriers are not completely free but are strongly
localized or displaced due to the effect of temperature. The
transfer of charge carriers between the adjacent Mg2 occurs
via O2 ions present in the system. The hopping of electrons
between adjacent sites results in local displacement of charges in
the direction of the applied frequency. The local displacement of
charge carriers increases with temperature and hence, conductivity increases with temperature.
5. Dielectric studies
Fig. 9 shows the variation of dielectric permittivity (0 ) with
applied frequency (10 MHz0.01 Hz) for nanocrystalline MgAl2O4
sample at different temperatures (150 1C 300 1C). From Fig. 9, it
can be seen that, there is an increase in dielectric permittivity (0 )

4.3. A.C. conductivity (ac) studies


Fig. 8 shows the a.c. vs log() plot obtained at different
temperatures (150 1C to 300 1C) for nanocrystalline MgAl2O4
sample. From Fig. 8, the a.c vs log() plot shows the two
regions (plateau and dispersion) of conductivity for the measured
frequency range. It is clear from Fig. 8 that there is an increase of
a.c. conductivity at the high frequency in the MgAl2O4 sample.
The a.c. conductivity at the high frequency in the MgAl2O4 is due
to hopping mechanism of bound charges, in which, free charges
hop back and forth between the well-dened bound states and
hence, a.c. conductivity increases at higher frequencies [30].

Fig. 8. Variation of a.c. conductivity obtained at various temperatures


(150 1C300 1C) with applied frequency of nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 sample.

Fig. 9. Variation of dielectric permittivity (0 ) obtained at various temperatures


(150 1C300 1C) with applied frequency of nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 sample.

Fig. 10. Variation of dielectric loss tangent (tan ) obtained at various


temperatures (150 1C300 1C) with applied frequency of nanocrystalline
MgAl2O4 sample.

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O. Padmaraj et al. / Ceramics International 41 (2015) 31783185

with decrease of applied frequency for the nanocrystalline


MgAl2O4 spinel structured sample. In the low frequency region,
the ions do not follow and pile up at sites with high free energy
barrier in the applied eld direction. The pilings of charges lead to
a net polarization effect on the grain boundary and hence, dielectric
permittivity (0 ) increases with applied frequency. At high frequency, the periodic reversal of the applied eld takes place
rapidly. So, piling of charges disappears at the interface and hence,
the dielectric constant decreases with frequency [30]. Also, from
Fig. 9, the steady increase in dielectric constant (0 ) with the
increase of temperature may be due to the thermal activation of
charges in the MgAl2O4 sample. Fig. 10 shows the plot of
dielectric loss tangent (tan ) vs applied frequency for the
nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 sample at different temperatures
(150 1C300 1C). From Fig. 10, the dielectric loss tangent
decreases with the increases of applied frequency. As the
temperature increases, the loss tangent increases, which may be
due to the thermal activation and accumulation of charge
carriers [30].
6. Conclusion
Nanocrystalline magnesium aluminate (MgAl2O4) spinel type
sample was prepared using glycine assisted gel-combustion
process. The XRD results of the prepared sample conrmed the
formation of pure nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 spinel phase with
an average crystallite size of 30 nm. FTIR spectrum conrmed
the formation of MgO4 groups in tetrahedral sites and AlO6
groups in octahedral site in the prepared pure nanocrystalline
MgAl2O4 samples obtained at 1000 1C. SEM images showed
the formation of agglomerated spherical particles with the size
of  150 nm. SEMEDX results conrm the formation of exact
composition of magnesium aluminate and it is free from organic
contamination. Also, SEMEDX elemental mapping conrms a
uniform distribution of O, Mg and Al in the magnesium
aluminate compound. The specic surface area of the prepared
nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 powder was measured by adsorption
method and is found to be 162.704 m2/g. The calculated
conductivity value of nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 pellet at 573 K
is found to be 4.9213  10  13 S cm  1. The activation energy
of magnesium aluminate sample was estimated in two different
temperature dependent conductivity regions and are found to be
E1 0.1828 eV (o503 K) and E2 0.8791 eV (4503 K). The
conductivity, dielectric constant and dielectric loss of the
nanocrystalline MgAl2O4 sample were obtained from the
analyzed impedance data and the observed results are analyzed
and explained using the existing theoretical models.
Acknowledgments
Dr. NS is gratefully acknowledges DST, AICTE, UGC,
CSIR, DAE-BRNS and DRDO, Government of India, for
nancial support through major research project grants. OP is
thankful to UGC for the award of BSR fellowship for pursuing
the doctoral degree. Authors also acknowledge CIF, Pondicherry University, for providing SEMEDX facility.

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