Magnetic nanoparticles are of great interest for research-ers from a wide range of disciplines, including magneticfluids,
While a number of suitable methods havebeen developed for the synthesis of magnetic nanoparticles of various different compositions, successful application of suchmagnetic nanoparticles in the areas listed above is highlydependent on the stability of the particles under a range of different conditions. In most of the envisaged applications, theparticles perform best when the size of the nanoparticles isbelow a critical value, which is dependent on the material butis typically around 10–20 nm. Then each nanoparticlebecomes a single magnetic domain and shows superparamag-netic behavior when the temperature is above the so-calledblocking temperature. Such individual nanoparticles have alarge constant magnetic moment and behave like a giantparamagnetic atom with a fast response to applied magneticfields with negligible remanence (residual magnetism) andcoercivity (the field required to bring the magnetization tozero). These features make superparamagnetic nanoparticlesvery attractive for a broad range of biomedical applicationsbecause the risk of forming agglomerates is negligible at roomtemperature.However, an unavoidable problem associated with par-ticles in this size range is their intrinsic instability over longerperiods of time. Such small particles tend to form agglomer-ates to reduce the energy associated with the high surface areato volume ratio of the nanosized particles. Moreover, nakedmetallic nanoparticles are chemically highly active, and areeasily oxidized in air, resulting generally in loss of magnetismand dispersibility. For many applications it is thus crucial todevelop protection strategies to chemically stabilize thenaked magnetic nanoparticles against degradation during orafter the synthesis. These strategies comprise grafting of orcoating with organic species, including surfactants or poly-mers, or coating with an inorganic layer, such as silica orcarbon. It is noteworthy that in many cases the protectingshells not only stabilize the nanoparticles, but can also be usedfor further functionalization, for instance with other nano-particles or various ligands, depending on the desiredapplication.Functionalized nanoparticles are very promising forapplications in catalysis, biolabeling, and bioseparation.Especially in liquid-phase catalytic reactions, such small andmagnetically separable particles may be useful as quasi-homogeneous systems that combine the advantages of highdispersion, high reactivity, and easy separation. In thefollowing, after briefly addressing the magnetic phenomenaspecific for nanoparticles, we focus mainly on recent develop-ments in the synthesis of magnetic nanoparticles, and variousstrategies for the protection of the particles against oxidationand acid erosion. Further functionalization and application of such magnetic nanoparticles in catalysis and bioseparationwill be discussed in brief. Readers who are interested in amore detailed treatment of the physical properties andbehavior of these magnetic nanoparticles, or biomedical andbiotechnology applications, are referred to specificreviews.
Special Features of Magnetic Nanoparticles
Two key issues dominate the magnetic properties of nanoparticles: finite-size effects and surface effects whichgive rise to various special features, as summarized in
[*] Dr. A.-H. Lu, Dr. E. L. Salabas, Prof. Dr. F. SchüthMax-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung45470 Mülheim an der Ruhr (Germany)Fax: (
his review focuses on the synthesis, protection, functionalization, andapplication of magnetic nanoparticles, as well as the magnetic prop-erties of nanostructured systems. Substantial progress in the size and shape control of magnetic nanoparticles has been made by developingmethods such as co-precipitation, thermal decomposition and/or reduction, micelle synthesis, and hydrothermal synthesis. A major challenge still is protection against corrosion, and therefore suitable protection strategies will be emphasized, for example, surfactant/po-lymer coating, silica coating and carbon coating of magnetic nano- particles or embedding them in a matrix/support. Properly protectedmagnetic nanoparticles can be used as building blocks for the fabri-cation of various functional systems, and their application in catalysisand biotechnology will be briefly reviewed. Finally, some future trendsand perspectives in these research areas will be outlined.
From the Contents
Special Features of Magnetic Nanoparticles
Synthesis of Magnetic Nanoparticles
Protection/Stabilization of Magnetic Nanoparticles
Functionalization and Applications of Magnetic Nanoparticles
Summary and Perspectives
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.
, 1222–1244 2007 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim