Core-shell nanoparticles for medical applications: effects of surfactant concentration on the characteristics and magnetic properties of magnetite-silica nanoparticles

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Department of Nanotechnology, Faculty of New Sciences and Technologies, Semnan University, Semnan, Iran

2 Department of Material Science and Engineering, Imam Hossein University, Tehran, Iran


Objective(s): The use of cationic surface-active agents (surfactant) in the synthesis of nanoparticles, with formation of micelle, can act as a template for the formation of meso-porous silica. Changes in the concentration of surfactants can affect the structures and properties of the resulting nanoparticles.
Materials and Methods: Magnetite nanoparticles were prepared as cores using the coprecipitation method. Silica shells were formed on the prepared cores using sol-gel through the single-step process. During synthesis, cetrimonium bromide (CTAB) was used as a surfactant at low (0.1 g), medium (1 g), and high concentrations (7 g), and the effects on the properties of the nanoparticles were investigated. The core-shell nanoparticles were analyzed using X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). In addition, the surface porosities of the nanoparticles were evaluated using the BET and BJH methods. The vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM) was also employed to assess the magnetic characteristics of the synthesized samples.
Results: The results of XRD indicated that the nanoparticles were composed of magnetite and silica, while the SEM and TEM images confirmed the presence of uniform spherical particles with a core-shell structure. According to the results of the VSM tests, all nanoparticles showed super-paramagnetic behaviors. Moreover, the increased concentration of CTAB led to an increment in saturation magnetization (Ms), size, and volume of the surface pores, while the specific surface area of the nanoparticles decreased.
Conclusion: According to the results, the properties of the silica shell could be adjusted in terms of pore characteristics and magnetic behavior by changing the concentration of the surfactant.


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