A facile synthetic route toward air-stable magnetic nanoalloys with Fe–Ni/Fe–Co core and iron oxide shell
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Air-stable bimetallic spherically shaped Fe–Ni and Fe–Co magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs), having an average size of 15 nm and core–shell structure, were synthesized by a simple wet chemical method under ambient conditions. For the first time, sodium borohydride reduction method, commonly applied for the syntheses of metal nanoparticles, was used for the preparation of well-defined Fe–Ni and Fe–Co nanoalloys, avoiding exploitation of any organic solvent. This approach allows a large scale production of nanoparticles specifically stabilized by an iron oxyhydroxide shell without a need of secondary functionalization. Transmission electron microscopy, X-ray powder diffraction, X-ray fluorescence, magnetization, and Mössbauer data demonstrate a core–shell nature of the as-synthesized nanoparticles. The nanoparticle core is of metallic origin and is inhomogeneous at the atomic level, consisting of iron-rich and iron-poor alloy phases. The composition of the shell is close to the ferrihydrite and its role lies in prevention of oxidation-induced degradation of nanoparticle properties. The core is ferromagnetic at and below room temperature, experiencing superparamagnetic relaxation effects due to a reduced size of nanoparticles, whereas the shell is completely superparamagnetic at 300 K and magnetically orders below ~25 K. Both developed types of magnetic nanoalloys exhibit a strong magnetic response under applied magnetic fields with a high magnetization values achievable at relatively low applied magnetic fields. Beside this, the highly biocompatible chemical composition of the nanoparticle shell and ability of its chemical modification by substitution or addition of other ions or molecules further empower the application potential of these MNPs, especially in the field of biomedicine.
KeywordsMagnetic nanoparticles Core–shell Borohydride Ferrihydrite Mössbauer spectroscopy Magnetization measurements
The authors gratefully acknowledge the support by the Operational Program Research and Development for Innovations—European Regional Development Fund (Project No. CZ.1.05/2.1.00/03.0058) of the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports of the Czech Republic and by the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (Project No. KAN115600801).
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