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Pingyan Lei, Adam M. Boies, Steven Calder, Steven L. Girshick

Thermal Plasma Synthesis of Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles

Plasma Chem. Plasma Process. 32 (2012) 519-531

Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles were synthesized by injecting ferrocene vapor and oxygen into an argon/helium DC thermal plasma. Size distributions of particles in the reactor exhaust were measured online using an aerosol extraction probe interfaced to a scanning mobility particle sizer, and particles were collected on transmission electron microscopy (TEM) grids and glass fiber filters for off-line characterization. The morphology, chemical and phase composition of the nanoparticles were characterized using TEM and X-ray diffraction, and the magnetic properties of the particles were analyzed with a vibrating sample magnetometer and a magnetic property measurement system. Aerosol at the reactor exhaust consisted of both single nanocrystals and small agglomerates, with a modal mobility diameter of 8-9 nm. Powder synthesized with optimum oxygen flow rate consisted primarily of magnetite (Fe3O4), and had a room-temperature saturation magnetization of 40.15 emu/g, with a coercivity and remanence of 26 Oe and 1.5 emu/g, respectively.

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