Hierachical Ni@Fe2O3 superparticles through epitaxial growth of γ-Fe2O3 nanorods on in situ formed Ni nanoplates†
One endeavour of nanochemistry is the bottom-up synthesis of functional mesoscale structures from basic building blocks. We report a one-pot wet chemical synthesis of Ni@γ-Fe2O3 superparticles containing Ni cores densely covered with highly oriented γ-Fe2O3 (maghemite) nanorods (NRs) by controlled reduction/decomposition of nickel acetate (Ni(ac)2) and Fe(CO)5. Automated diffraction tomography (ADT) of the Ni–Fe2O3 interface in combination with Mössbauer spectroscopy showed that selective and oriented growth of the γ-Fe2O3 nanorods on the Ni core is facilitated through the formation of a Fe0.05Ni0.95 alloy and the appearance of superstructure features that may reduce strain at the Ni–Fe2O3 interface. The common orientation of the maghemite nanorods on the Ni core of the superparticles leads to a greatly enhanced magnetization. After functionalization with a catechol-functional polyethylene glycol (C-PEG) ligand the Ni@γ-Fe2O3 superparticles were dispersible in water.