Selective magnetometry of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles in liquids†
We show that the properties of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles suspended in liquids can be effectively studied using Magnetic Circular Dichroism in Resonant Inelastic X-ray Scattering. Analysis of the spectral shape and magnetic contrast produced by this experiment enables an assessment of the site distribution and magnetic state of metal ions in the spinel phase. The selective magnetization profile of particles as derived from the field dependence of dichroism empowers an estimation of particle size distribution. Furthermore, the new proposed methodology discriminates sizes that are below the detection limits of X-ray and light scattering probes and that are difficult to spot in TEM.