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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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Publication details

The article was received on 26 Jun 2019, accepted on 31 Jul 2019 and first published on 05 Aug 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9TA06876G
J. Mater. Chem. A, 2019, Advance Article
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    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, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9TA06876G

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