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A Nonaqueous Approach to the Preparation of Iron Phosphide Nanowires

Houde She, Yuanzhi Chen*, Ruitao Wen, Kui Zhang, Guang-Hui Yue and Dong-Liang Peng*

Author Affiliations

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Materials, Research Center for Materials Design & Application, Xiamen University, 361005, Xiamen, People’s Republic of China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2010, 5:786-790  doi:10.1007/s11671-010-9559-4

Published: 16 February 2010


Previous preparation of iron phosphide nanowires usually employed toxic and unstable iron carbonyl compounds as precursor. In this study, we demonstrate that iron phosphide nanowires can be synthesized via a facile nonaqueous chemical route that utilizes a commonly available iron precursor, iron (III) acetylacetonate. In the synthesis, trioctylphosphine (TOP) and trioctylphosphine oxide (TOPO) have been used as surfactants, and oleylamine has been used as solvent. The crystalline structure and morphology of the as-synthesized products were characterized by powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The obtained iron phosphide nanowires have a typical width of ~16 nm and a length of several hundred nanometers. Structural and compositional characterization reveals a hexagonal Fe2P crystalline phase. The morphology of as-synthesized products is greatly influenced by the ratio of TOP/TOPO. The presence of TOPO has been found to be essential for the growth of high-quality iron phosphide nanowires. Magnetic measurements reveal ferromagnetic characteristics, and hysteresis behaviors below the blocking temperature have been observed.

Iron phosphides; Nanowire; Synthesis; Magnetic properties