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In this study, the impurity concentration and magnetic response of nine highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) samples with different grades and from different providers were determined using ion beam microscopy and SQUID magnetometry. Apart from sideface contaminations in the as-received state, bulk contamination of the samples in most cases consists of disk-shaped micron-sized particles made of Ti and V with an additional Fe contamination around the grain perimeter. The saturation magnetization typically increases with Fe concentration, however, there is no simple correlation between Fe content and magnetic moment. The saturation magnetization of one, respectively six, out of nine samples clearly exceeds the maximum contribution from pure Fe or FeC. For most samples the temperature dependence of the remanence decreases linearly with – a dependence found previously for defect-induced magnetism (DIM) in HOPG. We conclude that apart from magnetic impurities, additional contribution to the ferromagnetic magnetization exists in pristine HOPG in agreement with previous studies. A comparative study between the results of ion beam microscopy and the commonly used EDX analysis shows clearly that EDX is not a reliable method for quantitative trace elemental analysis in graphite, clarifying weaknesses and discrepancies in the element concentrations given in the recent literature.


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