Synthesis and characterization of poly(divinylbenzene)-coated magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles as precursor for the formation of air-stable carbon-coated iron crystalline nanoparticles

Yonit Boguslavsky, Shlomo Margel
Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 2008 January 1, 317 (1): 101-14
Maghemite (gamma-Fe2O3) nanoparticles of 15 +/- 3 nm diameter were prepared by nucleation of gelatin/iron oxide followed by growth of gamma-Fe2O3 films onto these nuclei. The gamma-Fe2O3 nanoparticles were coated with polydivinylbenzene (PDVB) by emulsion polymerization of divinylbenzene (DVB) in an aqueous continuous phase containing the gamma-Fe2O3 nanoparticles. The PDVB-coated gamma-Fe2O3 nanoparticles, dispersed in water, were separated from homo-PDVB nanoparticles using the high gradient magnetic field (HGMF) technique. The influence of DVB concentration on the amount of PDVB coating, on the size and size distribution of the coated gamma-Fe2O3 nanoparticles and on their magnetic properties, has been investigated. Air-stable carbon-coated iron (alpha-Fe/C) crystalline nanoparticles of 41 +/- 12 nm diameter have been prepared by annealing the PDVB-coated gamma-Fe2O3 nanoparticles at 1050 degrees C in an inert atmosphere. These nanoparticles exhibit high saturation magnetization value (83 emu g(-1)) and excellent resistance to oxidation. Characterization of the PDVB-coated gamma-Fe2O3 and of the alpha-Fe/C nanoparticles has been accomplished by TEM, HRTEM, DLS, FTIR, XRD, thermal analysis, zeta-potential, and magnetic measurements.

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