Y 0.2CoFe 1.8O 4 nanopowders were prepared using a solgel combustion method. Metal nitrates, such as yttrium nitrate, cobalt nitrate and ferric nitrate, were used as the source materials. Citric acid and polyvinyl alcohol were used as the burning agent and agglomeration reducing agent, respectively. The pH of the precursor was maintained at 7. The mean crystallite size of the prepared ferrite was in the range of ∼2070 nm. The inverse spinel structure, cubic morphology, and the identification of functional groups of the yttrium-doped cobalt ferrite were analyzed systematically using several analytical tools. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.