Mechanistic Study of Monodisperse Iron Oxide Nanocrystals Formation by Solution Phase Thermal Decomposition of Iron (III) Oleate Complex
To gain better insight into the formation of iron oxide nanocrystals from the solution phase thermal decomposition of iron (III) oleate complex, different reaction conditions including time, heating ramp, as well as concentrations of iron oleate precursor and oleic acid ligand were systematically varied and the resulting nanocrystals were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and photon correlation spectroscopy (PCS). Iron oxide nanocrystals of different sizes and shapes were obtained at different reaction conditions. Moreover, thermal analysis of the iron oleate complex was performed to explain the heating up process. Based on the findings, theoretical arguments were constructed to mechanistically describe the thermal decomposition process.
Keywords: iron (III) oleate, thermal decomposition, iron oxide nanocrystal, Ostwald ripening, magnetic resonance imaging