Maghemite polymer nanocomposites with modulated magnetic properties.
A method is presented for the production of maghemite polymer nanocomposites with modulated magnetic properties. Magnetic nanocomposites prepared using this method show regular variation in the magnetic blocking temperature from 2 K to 300 K, and variation in the saturation magnetization from 0 to 50 emu g(-1) (Fe2O3). The method is based on the in situ formation of maghemite nanoparticles in nitrogen-base polymer matrixes. The particle size can be varied regularly from 1.5 nm to 16 nm by changing the ratio of iron loading in the polymer and/or the Fe(II)/Fe(III) ratios. The particles are isolated and uniformly distributed within the matrix. The materials were characterized by electron microscopy, electron energy loss spectroscopy, Mossbauer spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, small angle X-ray scattering, wide angle X-ray scattering and magnetic measurements. The nanocomposites obtained are useful model material for the study of the magnetic behavior of magnetic nanoparticles, as well as for use in many industrial and biomedical applications. (c) 2007 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.