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Issue 14, 2014
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A novel synthetic strategy for bioinspired functionally graded nanocomposites employing magnetic field gradients

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Abstract

In order to mimic the complex architecture of many bio-materials and synthesize composites characterized by continuously graded composition and mechanical properties, an innovative synthetic strategy making use of magnetic field gradients and based on the motion of superparamagnetic Fe3O4@SiO2 core–shell nanoparticles is adopted. It is demonstrated that by lowering the viscosity of the system through particle functionalization, and increasing the magnetic force acting on the nanoparticles upon optimization of a simple set-up composed of two permanent magnets in repulsion configuration, the magnephoretic process can be considerably accelerated. Thus, owing to the magnetic responsiveness of the Fe3O4 core and the remarkable mechanical properties of the SiO2 shell, approximately 150 μm thick polymeric films with continuous gradients in composition and characterized by considerable increments in elastic modulus (up to ≈70%) and hardness (up to ≈150%) when going from particle-depleted to particle-enriched regions can be synthesized, even in times as short as 1 hour. The present methods are highly promising for a more efficient magnetic force-based synthesis of inhomogeneous soft materials whose composition is required to be locally tuned to meet the specific mechanical demands arising from non-uniform external loads.

Graphical abstract: A novel synthetic strategy for bioinspired functionally graded nanocomposites employing magnetic field gradients

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
15 Nov 2013
Accepted
06 Jan 2014
First published
07 Jan 2014

RSC Adv., 2014,4, 7246-7255
Article type
Paper

A novel synthetic strategy for bioinspired functionally graded nanocomposites employing magnetic field gradients

T. Nardi, Y. Leterrier, A. Karimi and J. E. Månson, RSC Adv., 2014, 4, 7246
DOI: 10.1039/C3RA46731G

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