Table of Contents
Smart Materials Research
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 351072, 5 pages
Research Article

Preparation of γ-Fe2O3/Ni2O3/FeCl3(FeCl2) Composite Nanoparticles by Hydrothermal Process Useful for Ferrofluids

School of Physical Science & Technology, MOE Key Laboratory on Luminescence and Real-Time Analysis, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China

Received 15 December 2010; Accepted 3 May 2011

Academic Editor: Xianglong Meng

Copyright © 2011 Qingmei Zhang 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.


Using a hydrothermal process in FeCl2 solution, γ-Fe2O3/Ni2O3/FeCl3(FeCl2) composite nanoparticles were obtained from the FeOOH/Ni(OH)2 precursor prepared by coprecipitation. The precursor and the as-prepared nanoparticles were investigated by vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), energy disperse X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The experimental results showed that the paramagnetic amorphous precursor, in which Ni(OH)2 is formed outside FeOOH, is transformed to ferrimagnetic γ-Fe2O3/Ni2O3 composite when it is processed in FeCl2 solution (0.25, 0.50, 1.00 M) in an autoclave at 100°C for 1 hr. In addition, the dismutation reaction of FeCl2 produces FeCl3 and Fe. Some FeCl3 and little FeCl2 can be absorbed to form γ-Fe2O3/Ni2O3/FeCl3(FeCl2) composite nanoparticles in which Ni2O3 forms outside the γ-Fe2O3 core and the outermost layer is FeCl3 (FeCl2). The content of FeCl3 (FeCl2) in the particles increased, and the magnetization of the particles decreased with the concentration of FeCl2 solution increasing in the hydrothermal process. The FeCl3 (FeCl2) surface is chemically passive and nonmagnetic (paramagnetic). Accordingly, the composite nanoparticles are chemically stable, and their aggregation is prevented. The specific saturation magnetization of such composite nanoparticles can get to 57.4–62.2 emu/g and could be very suitable for synthesizing ferrofluids.