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Influence of carbon chain length on the synthesis and yield of fatty amine-coated iron-platinum nanoparticles

Robert M Taylor1, Todd C Monson2 and Rama R Gullapalli13*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pathology, University of New Mexico, Room 308, MSC06-4840, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA

2 Nanoscale Sciences Department, Sandia National Laboratories, P.O. Box 5800, MS-1415, Albuquerque, NM 87185, USA

3 Department of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering, University of New Mexico, Room 333A, MSC08-4640, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:306  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-306

Published: 17 June 2014


Iron oxide nanoparticles are among the most widely used and characterized magnetic nanoparticles. However, metal alloys such as superparamagnetic iron-platinum particles (SIPPs), which have better magnetic properties, are receiving increased attention. Scalable techniques to routinely synthesize SIPPs in bulk need further study. Here, we focus on the role played by the fatty amine ligand in the formation of the bimetallic FePt nanocrystal. More specifically, we compare the effect of varying lengths of fatty amine ligands on the shape, structure, uniformity, composition, and magnetic properties of the SIPPs. We synthesized SIPPs by employing a ‘green’ thermal decomposition reaction using fatty amine ligands containing 12 to 18 carbons in length. Greater fatty amine chain length increased the polydispersity, particle concentration, iron concentration, and the stability of the SIPPs. Additionally, longer reflux times increased the diameter of the particles, but decreased the iron concentration, suggesting that shorter reaction times are preferable. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy of the SIPPs indicates that the ligands are successfully bound to the FePt cores through the amine group. Superconducting quantum interference device magnetometry measurements suggest that all of the SIPPs were superparamagnetic at room temperature and that SIPPs synthesized using tetradecylamine had the highest saturation magnetization. Our findings indicate that the octadecylamine ligand, which is currently used for the routine synthesis of SIPPs, may not be optimal. Overall, we found that using tetradecylamine and a 30-min reflux reaction resulted in optimal particles with the highest degree of monodispersity, iron content, stability, and saturation magnetization.


81.07.-b; 75.75.Fk; 61.46.Df

Iron-Platinum nanoparticles; SIPPs; Magnetic nanoparticles; Nanoparticle synthesis; Nanoparticle characterization; Cancer biology