Large-scale synthesis of mixed valance K3[Fe2S4] with high dielectric and ferrimagnetic characteristics
High yields of phase-pure K3[Fe2S4] are obtained using a fast, straight-forward, and efficient synthetic technique starting from the binary precursors K2S and FeS, and elemental sulphur. The compound indicates soft ferrimagnetic characteristics with magnetization of 15.23 A m2 kg−1 at 300 K due to the mixed valence of FeII/FeIII. Sintering at different temperatures allows the manipulation of the microstructure as well as the ratio of grains to grain boundaries. This results in a variation of dielectric and impedance properties. Samples sintered at 923 K demonstrate a dielectric constant (κ) of around 1750 at 1 kHz, which lies within the range of well-known high-κ dielectric materials, and an ionic conductivity of 4 × 10−2 mS cm−1 at room temperature. The compound has an optical band gap of around 2.0 eV, in agreement with tailored quantum chemical calculations. These results highlight its potential as a material comprising non-toxic and abundant elements for electronic and magnetic applications.