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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2018, Article ID 3019586, 9 pages
Research Article

Preparation and Preliminary Nonlinear Optical Properties of BiFeO3 Nanocrystal Suspensions from a Simple, Chelating Agent-Free Precipitation Route

1Univ. Savoie Mont Blanc, SYMME, F-74000 Annecy, France
2Faculté des Sciences, Université de LOME, Lomé, Togo
3Université de Lyon, Institut des Nanotechnologies de Lyon UMR CNRS 5270, Ecole Centrale de Lyon, 36 Avenue Guy de Collongue, F-69134 Ecully, France

Correspondence should be addressed to Yannick Mugnier;

Received 15 May 2018; Accepted 3 July 2018; Published 9 September 2018

Academic Editor: Jean M. Greneche

Copyright © 2018 Théo Tytus et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Preparation of stable BiFeO3 nanocrystal suspensions through a simple, low-cost precipitation technique is described. Amorphous precursors are first precipitated from metal nitrate salts in highly basic KOH solutions, and a short high-temperature annealing step is then performed to induce crystallization. Nanoparticles are characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), TEM, DLS and ζ-potential measurements, and the synthesis conditions optimized after a systematic variation of the KOH concentration within the range of 1–12 M. The presence of residual impurities (mainly Bi25FeO39 and Bi2Fe4O9) quantified from XRD and mean nanocrystal size is found to be strongly influenced by the initial KOH solution content. A concentration at about 3–4 M is optimal in terms of BiFeO3 phase-purity and nanocrystal size. Stability of aqueous dispersions of the amorphous precursors and of the purest crystallized nanoparticles is also characterized between pH = 2 and pH = 13. After preparation of stable, almost phase-pure BiFeO3 nanocrystal suspensions, second and third harmonic scattering (SHS and THS) at excitation wavelengths of 1064 nm and 1250 nm are reported from nonlinear optical scattering measurements and compared with other recently published literature values.