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Issue 33, 2019
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Scalable synthesis of dispersible iron carbide (Fe3C) nanoparticles by ‘nanocasting’

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Abstract

Metal carbides have shown great promise in a wide range of applications due to their unique catalytic, electrocatalytic and magnetic properties. However, the scalable production of dispersible metal carbide nanoparticles remains a challenge. Here, we report a simple and scalable route to dispersible iron carbide (Fe3C) nanoparticles. This uses MgO nanoparticles as a removable ‘cast’ to synthesize Fe3C nanoparticles from Prussian blue (KFeIII[FeII(CN)6]). Electron tomography demonstrates how nanoparticles of the MgO cast encase the Fe3C nanoparticles to prevent sintering and agglomeration during the high-temperature synthesis. The MgO cast is readily removed with ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) to generate Fe3C nanoparticles that can be used to produce a colloidal ferrofluid or dispersed on a support material.

Graphical abstract: Scalable synthesis of dispersible iron carbide (Fe3C) nanoparticles by ‘nanocasting’

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
26 Jun 2019
Accepted
31 Jul 2019
First published
05 Aug 2019

This article is Open Access

J. Mater. Chem. A, 2019,7, 19506-19512
Article type
Paper

Scalable synthesis of dispersible iron carbide (Fe3C) nanoparticles by ‘nanocasting’

D. C. Fletcher, R. Hunter, W. Xia, G. J. Smales, B. R. Pauw, E. Blackburn, A. Kulak, H. Xin and Z. Schnepp, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2019, 7, 19506
DOI: 10.1039/C9TA06876G

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