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Open Access Nano Express

Fabrication of Fe-Al nanoparticles by selective oxidation of Fe-Al thin films

Pyungwoo Jang1*, Seungchan Shin1, Chip-Sup Jung1, Kwang-Ho Kim2 and Kyu Seomoon3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Optical Engineering, Cheongju University, Cheongju, 360-764, South Korea

2 Department of Semiconductor Engineering, Cheongju University, Cheongju, 360-764, South Korea

3 Department of Applied Chemistry, Cheongju University, Cheongju, 360-764, South Korea

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:152  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-152

Published: 2 April 2013

Abstract

The possibility of a new technique for fabricating nanoparticles from thin films using selective oxidation in an atmosphere mixture of water vapor and hydrogen was investigated. Fe-5wt.%Al films were RF-sputtered and annealed in the atmosphere mixture at 900°C for up to 200 min, in order to oxidize aluminum selectively. Thermodynamics simulation showed that temperatures exceeding 800°C are necessary to prevent iron from being oxidized, as confirmed by the depth profile of XPS. As the annealing time increased, the morphology of the 200-nm Fe-Al films changed from the continuous to the discontinuous type; thus, particulate Fe-Al films formed after 100 min. The particulate 10- to 100-nm Fe-Al films showed super-paramagnetic behavior after the oxidation. Thus, a new technique for fabricating nanoparticles was successfully introduced using selective oxidation.

Keywords:
Selective oxidation of aluminum; Particulate Fe-Al films; Fe-Al nanoparticles; Water vapor; Hydrogen; 81.07.Bc; 75.70-I; 75.75.Fk