A new contribution to the study of the electrosynthesis of magnetic nanoparticles: the influence of the supporting electrolyte
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This paper shows how magnetic nanoparticles are produced by electrochemical synthesis using a low carbon steel bar as an anode and 100 mA cm−2 electric perturbations at room temperature. Two different kinds of salts, (CH3)4NCl and NaCl, were used to prepare the supporting electrolyte solutions. This allowed a comparison to be made between a surfactant and common salt, and allowed their influence on particle size to be analyzed. Additionally, mixtures of water and ethanol were added to the electrolyte solution in order to improve particle size distribution. The nanoparticle samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction, TEM, magnetization measurements, and Raman and Mössbauer spectroscopy. The results showed that after an optimized time of 10 min, the nanoparticles obtained in all the evaluated electrolytes were mainly magnetite (Fe3O4). The particles were between 8 and 10 nm in size. Depending on the nature of the electrolyte, the magnetite nanoparticles exhibited high purity and stoichiometry. The presence of ethanol in the electrolyte avoided particle agglomeration during the formation of magnetite. When the magnetic nanoparticles were exposed to an external magnetic field they showed superparamagnetic behavior and negligible coercivity. Such qualities are extremely useful for applications like ferrofluid precursors.
KeywordsMagnetite nanoparticles Electrochemical synthesis Magnetic properties
The authors are pleased to acknowledge the financial assistance of the “Departamento Administrativo de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación—COLCIENCIAS”, and the Universidad de Antioquia through the project 111556934616 and “Estrategia de Sostenibilidad 2013–2014 de la Universidad de Antioquia”.
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