Superparamagnetic MFe 2O 4 (M = Fe, Co, Mn) nanoparticles: tuning the particle size and magnetic properties through a novel one-step coprecipitation route

Clara Pereira, André M. Pereira, Carlos Fernandes, Mariana Rocha, Ricardo Mendes, María Paz Fernández-García, Alexandra Guedes, Pedro B. Tavares, Jean Marc Grenéche, João P. Araújo*, Cristina Freire

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

351 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Superparamagnetic ferrite nanoparticles (MFe 2O 4, where M = Fe, Co, Mn) were synthesized through a novel one-step aqueous coprecipitation method based on the use of a new type of alkaline agent: the alkanolamines isopropanolamine and diisopropanolamine. The role played by the bases on the particles" size, chemical composition, and magnetic properties was investigated and compared directly with the effect of the traditional inorganic base NaOH. The novel MFe 2O 4 nanomaterials exhibited high colloidal stability, particle sizes in the range of 4-12 nm, and superparamagnetic properties. More remarkably, they presented smaller particle sizes (up to 6 times) and enhanced saturation magnetization (up to 1.3 times) relative to those prepared with NaOH. Furthermore, the nanomaterials exhibited improved magnetic properties when compared with nanoferrites of similar size synthesized by coprecipitation with other bases or by other methods reported in the literature. The alkanolamines were responsible for these achievements by acting both as alkaline agents and as complexing agents that controlled the particle size during the synthesis process and improved the spin rearrangement at the surface (thinner magnetic "dead" layers). These results open new horizons for the design of water-dispersible MFe 2O 4 nanoparticles with tuned properties through a versatile and easily scalable coprecipitation route.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1496-1504
Number of pages9
JournalChemistry of Materials
Volume24
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alkanolamines
  • Cobalt ferrite
  • Coprecipitation
  • Iron oxide
  • Magnetic nanoparticles
  • Manganese ferrite

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