Doping of inorganic materials in microreactors – preparation of Zn doped Fe3O4 nanoparticles†
Microreactor systems are now used more and more for the continuous production of metal nanoparticles and metal oxide nanoparticles owing to the controllability of the particle size, an important property in many applications. Here, for the first time, we used microreactors to prepare metal oxide nanoparticles with controlled and varying metal stoichiometry. We prepared and characterised Zn-substituted Fe3O4 nanoparticles with linear increase of Zn content (ZnxFe3−xO4 with 0 ≤ x ≤ 0.48), which causes linear increases in properties such as the saturation magnetization, relative to pure Fe3O4. The methodology is simple and low cost and has great potential to be adapted to the targeted doping of a vast array of other inorganic materials, allowing greater control on the chemical stoichiometry for nanoparticles prepared in microreactors.