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Issue 34, 2016
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Tuning the structure and habit of iron oxide mesocrystals

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Abstract

A precise control over the meso- and microstructure of ordered and aligned nanoparticle assemblies, i.e., mesocrystals, is essential in the quest for exploiting the collective material properties for potential applications. In this work, we produced evaporation-induced self-assembled mesocrystals with different mesostructures and crystal habits based on iron oxide nanocubes by varying the nanocube size and shape and by applying magnetic fields. A full 3D characterization of the mesocrystals was performed using image analysis, high-resolution scanning electron microscopy and Grazing Incidence Small Angle X-ray Scattering (GISAXS). This enabled the structural determination of e.g. multi-domain mesocrystals with complex crystal habits and the quantification of interparticle distances with sub-nm precision. Mesocrystals of small nanocubes (l = 8.6–12.6 nm) are isostructural with a body centred tetragonal (bct) lattice whereas assemblies of the largest nanocubes in this study (l = 13.6 nm) additionally form a simple cubic (sc) lattice. The mesocrystal habit can be tuned from a square, hexagonal to star-like and pillar shapes depending on the particle size and shape and the strength of the applied magnetic field. Finally, we outline a qualitative phase diagram of the evaporation-induced self-assembled superparamagnetic iron oxide nanocube mesocrystals based on nanocube edge length and magnetic field strength.

Graphical abstract: Tuning the structure and habit of iron oxide mesocrystals

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Publication details

The article was received on 10 May 2016, accepted on 09 Jul 2016 and first published on 11 Jul 2016


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6NR03776C
Citation: Nanoscale, 2016,8, 15571-15580
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Tuning the structure and habit of iron oxide mesocrystals

    E. Wetterskog, A. Klapper, S. Disch, E. Josten, R. P. Hermann, U. Rücker, T. Brückel, L. Bergström and G. Salazar-Alvarez, Nanoscale, 2016, 8, 15571
    DOI: 10.1039/C6NR03776C

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