Field dependent permittivity of composite materials containing ferromagnetic wires

Research paper by D. P. Makhnovskiy, L. V. Panina

Indexed on: 25 Jan '03Published on: 25 Jan '03Published in: Physics - Materials Science


The effective permittivity of composites containing ferromagnetic microwires has been analysed within a one-particle approximation, by considering a wire piece as an independent scatterer and solving the scattering problem with the impedance boundary condition. A new integro-differential equation for the current distribution in a wire is obtained, which is valid for the surface impedance matrix of a general form. In the vicinity of the antenna resonance, the dispersion behaviour of the effective permittivity can depend strongly on a dc external magnetic field applied to the whole composite sample, experiencing a transformation from a resonant spectrum to a relaxation one. If the resonance-like dispersion behaviour is realised, the real part of the effective permittivity can be made negative past the resonance for sufficiently small wire-inclusion concentrations (well below the percolation threshold). Applying a dc external magnetic field, the negative peak of the real part of effective permittivity continuously decreases as the dispersion tends to become of a relaxation type. The magnetic field required to cause these changes in the effective permittivity is of the order of the anisotropy field, that is, in the range of few Oe for Co-based microwires. The field dependence of the effective permittivity arises from a high sensitivity of the ac surface impedance of a ferromagnetic wire to a magnetic field (known as the magneto-impedance (MI) effect). This work demonstrates a possibility of using the MI effect to design field-controlled composites and band-gap structures. Another range of applications is related to tuneable waveguides where the composite material is used as an additional field-dependent cover.