Nanocrystalline La 0.15Ca 0.85MnO 3 samples of various grain sizes ranging from ∼17 to 42 nm have been prepared by sol-gel technique. Phase purity and composition were verified by room temperature x-ray diffraction and SEM-EDAX analysis. The bulk La 0.15Ca 0.85MnO 3 is known to order antiferromagnetically around 170 K and to undergo a simultaneous crystal structural transition. DC magnetization measurements on 17 nm size La 0.15Ca 0.85MnO 3 show a peak at ∼130 K (T N) in zero-field-cooled (ZFC) state. Field-cooled magnetization bifurcates from ZFC data around 200 K hinting a weak ferromagnetic component near room temperature due to surface moments of the nanoparticle sample. Low temperature powder neutron diffraction experiments reveal that the incomplete structural transition from room temperature orthorhombic to low temperature orthorhombic-monoclinic state also occurs in the nanoparticle sample as in the bulk. Magnetization in the ordered state decreases as particle size increases, thus indicating the reduction of the competing ferromagnetic surface moments. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.