FeNb11O29, pure or doped with metal transition ions, is a very promising material with advanced multifunctionalities and interesting applicative perspectives. It is isostructural with Nb12O29, one of the rare compounds in which Nb displays a local magnetic moment and shows both antiferromagnetic ordering and metallic conductivity at low temperatures. In this work we have synthesized and studied Fe0.8V0.2Nb11O29 monoclinic powders. In particular we monitored the effects on structural, electronic and magnetic properties in samples produced in different atmospheres to stabilize cations with different oxidation states. We have demonstrated that the reaction atmosphere influences the phase homogeneity, the crystallite size and the amount of paramagnetic centres, with a transformation of Fe3+ in Fe2+ when an inert atmosphere is used, as proved by the absence, in this case, of any electron paramagnetic resonance signal. Also the Raman spectra result to be affected due to the change of coordination polyhedra. Subsequent re-oxidation of reduced powders brings to the monophasic iron niobate again containing Fe3+ demonstrating the reversibility of redox process. This reversibility is accompanied by a complete restoring of monoclinic structure evidenced by X-ray diffraction data and by Raman measurements, which allowed also to follow in situ the spectral changes induced by laser heating.
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