Synthesis and characterization of magnetite-maghemite nanoparticles obtained by the high-energy ball milling method

  • A. A. Velásquez
  • C. C. Marín
  • J. P. Urquijo
Research Paper


We present the process of synthesis and characterization of magnetite-maghemite nanoparticles by the ball milling method. The particles were synthesized in a planetary ball mill equipped with vials and balls of tempered steel, employing dry and wet conditions. For dry milling, we employed microstructured analytical-grade hematite (α-Fe2O3), while for wet milling, we mixed hematite and deionized water. Milling products were characterized by X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, room temperature Mössbauer spectroscopy, vibrating sample magnetometry, and atomic absorption spectroscopy. The Mössbauer spectrum of the dry milling product was well fitted with two sextets of hematite, while the spectrum of the wet milling product was well fitted with three sextets of spinel phase. X-ray measurements confirmed the phases identified by Mössbauer spectroscopy in both milling conditions and a reduction in the crystallinity of the dry milling product. TEM measurements showed that the products of dry milling for 100 h and wet milling for 24 h consist of aggregates of nanoparticles distributed in size, with mean particle size of 10 and 15 nm, respectively. Magnetization measurements of the wet milling product showed little coercivity and a saturation magnetization around 69 emu g−1, characteristic of a nano-spinel system. Atomic absorption measurements showed that the chromium contamination in the wet milling product is approximately two orders of magnitude greater than that found in the dry milling product for 24 h, indicating that the material of the milling bodies, liberated more widely in wet conditions, plays an important role in the conversion hematite-spinel phase.


Ball milling Hematite to magnetite-maghemite conversion Nanoparticles Mössbauer spectroscopy Transmission electron microscopy Synthesis by attrition 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11051_2018_4166_MOESM1_ESM.docx (28 kb)
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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. A. Velásquez
    • 1
  • C. C. Marín
    • 1
  • J. P. Urquijo
    • 2
  1. 1.Grupo de Electromagnetismo AplicadoUniversidad EAFITMedellínColombia
  2. 2.Grupo de Estado SólidoUniversidad de AntioquiaMedellínColombia

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