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One-step synthesis of silica-coated magnetite nanoparticles by electrooxidation of iron in sodium silicate solution


Silica-coated magnetite nanoparticles have been synthesized successfully using a one-step electrochemical method. In this method, pure iron in a dilute aqueous sodium silicate solution that served as a silica precursor was electrooxidized. We show that the presence of silicate can significantly enhance the purity of the magnetite formed. Impurities in the form of FeOOH (found in the magnetite prepared in water) are not found. The magnetite nanoparticles produced by this method are nearly spherical with a mean size ranging from 6 to 10 nm, which is lower than the size of particles prepared in water, and this size range depends on the applied voltage and the sodium silicate concentration. The magnetite nanoparticles exhibit superparamagnetic properties with saturation magnetization ranging from 15 to 22 emu g−1, which is lower than the saturation magnetization of the Fe3O4 bulk materials (M s = 92 emu g−1). This facile method appears to be promising as a synthetic route for producing silica-coated magnetite nanoparticles.

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We would like to thank the Directorate General of Higher Education (DGHE), the Ministry of National Education, Indonesia, for funding through a Fundamental Research Grant and for the financial support for one of the authors (FF) to obtain a doctorate through BPPS and to visit the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology as a research fellow via a Sandwich-Like Program. We also thank Ms. Ratih Y. Utomo and Ms. Kartikasari Sutrisno for their assistance with the experiments.

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Correspondence to Heru Setyawan.

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Setyawan, H., Fajaroh, F., Widiyastuti, W. et al. One-step synthesis of silica-coated magnetite nanoparticles by electrooxidation of iron in sodium silicate solution. J Nanopart Res 14, 807 (2012).

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  • Magnetite nanoparticles
  • Electrochemical synthesis
  • Sodium silicate
  • Magnetic properties
  • Aqueous system