Thermoreversible magnetic nanochains†
The reversible organization of nanomagnets into highly anisotropic assemblies is of considerable interest for many applications, including theragnostic strategies in vivo. The current preparation strategies lead to structures that are not stable without the permanent presence of an applied magnetic field (MF); otherwise, irreversible assemblies are produced with moderate shape anisotropy at nanoscales. Here, we present a new approach based on the thermoreversible Diels–Alder reaction in the presence of an external MF that enables the assembly of single-domain nanomagnets into narrow chains with lengths of several micrometers. The MF-assisted click chemistry approach included (i) the synthesis of nanoparticles through a modified hydrothermal method, (ii) their functionalization via ligand exchange, (iii) the MF-assisted formation of chains, and (iv) the linkage of the nanomagnets in the presence of the magnetic field. Moreover, the chains can be again disassembled at elevated temperatures through a retro-Diels–Alder reaction. We thus demonstrated for the first time that MF-assisted click chemistry is a convenient method for large-scale preparation of highly anisotropic assemblies of nanosized magnets that can be reversibly decomposed by thermal treatment.
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