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Research article2008Peer reviewed

Preparation of iron oxide nanocrystals by surfactant-free or oleic acid-assisted thermal decomposition of a Fe(III) alkoxide

Ahniyaz, Anwar; Seisenbaeva, Gulaim A.; Haggstrom, Lennart; Kamali, Saeed; Kessler, Vadim G.; Nordblad, Per; Johansson, Christer; Bergstrom, Lennart


A new non-hydrolytic, alkoxide-based route was developed to synthesize iron oxide nanocrystals. Surfactant-free thermal decomposition of the iron 2-methoxy-ethoxide precursors results in the formation of uniform iron oxide nanocrystals with an average size of 5.6 nm. Transmission electron microscope study shows that the nanocrystals are protected against aggregation by a repulsive surface layer, probably originating from the alkoxy-alkoxide ligands. Addition of oleic acid resulted in monodisperse nanocrystals with an average size of 4 nm. Mossbauer analysis confirmed that the nanocrystals mainly consisted of maghemite. Analysis of the magnetic hysteresis loop measurements and the zero field and field cooled measurements displayed an excellent fit to established theories for single-domain superparamagnetic nanocrystals and the size of the magnetic domains correlated well to the crystallite size obtained from transmission electron microscope. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


ironoxide; nanocrystal; synthesis; alkoxide; superparamagnetic

Published in

Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials
2008, Volume: 320, number: 6, pages: 781-787