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Pure Appl. Chem., 2000, Vol. 72, No. 1-2, pp. 37-45

Synthesis of magnetic spinel ferrite CoFe2O4 nanoparticles from ferric salt and characterization of the size-dependent superparamagnetic properties

Chao Liu, Adam J. Rondinone and Z. John Zhang*

School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0400, USA

Abstract: The CoFe2O4 nanoparticles have been synthesized by using a stable ferric salt of FeCl3 with a micellar microemulsion method. The normal micelles are formed by sodium dodecyl sulfate (NaDS) in aqueous solutions. The mean size of the nanoparticles can be controlled from less than 4 nm to about 10 nm through controlling the concentrations of the reagents. The neutron diffraction in combination with the Rietveld refinement shows that these CoFe2O4 nanoparticles have a high degree of inversion with 66% of the tetrahedral sublattice occupied by Fe3+. Magnetic measurements and neutron diffraction studies demonstrate the superparamagnetic nature of these CoFe2O4 nanoparticles. The size-dependent superparamagnetic properties of CoFe2O4 nanoparticles have also been systematically studied. The blocking temperature and coercive field of the nanoparticles increase with increasing size of the nanoparticles. The superparamagnetic behaviors of CoFe2O4 nanoparticles are consistent with the Stoner-Wohlfarth theory of single domain particles.