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Langmuir. 2008 Apr 1;24(7):3532-6. doi: 10.1021/la7035604. Epub 2008 Mar 1.

Superparamagnetic Fe3O4SiO2 nanocomposites: enabling the tuning of both the iron oxide load and the size of the nanoparticles.

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Department of Chemistry and Department of Physics, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611, USA.


Using a water-in-oil microemulsion system, silica nanoparticles containing superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) crystals have been prepared and characterized. With this method, the loading of iron oxide crystals, the thickness of the silica shells, and the overall particle sizes are tunable. Moving from low to high water concentration, within the microemulsion region, resulted in a gradual shift from larger particles, ca. 100 nm and fully loaded with SPIOs, to smaller particles, ca. 30 nm containing only one or a few SPIOs. By varying the amount of silica precursor, the thickness of the silica shell was altered. Field dependent magnetization measurements showed the magnetic properties of the SPIOs were preserved after the synthesis.


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