Many dilute magnetic semiconductors, when annealed in hydrogen atmosphere, have been reported to show a giant ferromagnetism. The H-induced lattice defects, mainly the oxygen vacancies, have been suggested to mediate this ferromagnetic coupling. We have also observed huge magnetic induction in paramagnetic Co and Fe-doped ZnO systems, upon hydrogenation; however, the re-heating caused this magnetism to vanish quickly. In the present work, we have furthered these studies on their longevity aspect i.e. the ageing effect. Alarmingly, the magnetic properties of hydrogenated samples stored in dry atmosphere degrade gradually with ageing. On the other hand, the 2% Mn doped ZnO, which depicts only a weak ferromagnetism, and no enhancement in magnetization upon hydrogenation, exhibits no such ageing effect.
Keywords: Magnetic materials; Semiconductors; X-ray techniques