Journal article

Tuning Properties of Iron Oxide Nanoparticles in Aqueous Synthesis without Ligands to Improve MRI Relaxivity and SAR

Aqueous synthesis without ligands of iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) with exceptional properties still remains an open issue, because of the challenge to control simultaneously numerous properties of the IONPs in these rigorous settings. To solve this, it is necessary to correlate the synthesis process with their properties, but this correlation is until now not well understood. Here, we study and correlate the structure, crystallinity, morphology, as well as magnetic, relaxometric and heating properties of IONPs obtained for different durations of the hydrothermal treatment that correspond to the different growth stages of IONPs upon initial co-precipitation in aqueous environment without ligands. We find that their properties were different for IONPs with comparable diameters. Specifically, by controlling the growth of IONPs from primary to secondary particles firstly by colloidal and then also by magnetic interactions, we control their crystallinity from monocrystalline to polycrystalline IONPs, respectively. Surface energy minimization in the aqueous environment along with low temperature treatment is used to favor nearly defect-free IONPs featuring superior properties, such as high saturation magnetization, magnetic volume, surface crystallinity, the transversal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) relaxivity (up to r(2) = 1189 mM(-1).s(-1) and r(2)/r(1) = 195) and specific absorption rate, SAR (up to 1225.1W.g(Fe)(-1)).


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