Laser-Ablated Vortex Fluidic-Mediated Synthesis of Superparamagnetic Magnetite Nanoparticles in Water Under Flow

Selective formation of only one iron oxide phase is a major challenge in conventional laser ablation process, as is scaling up the process. Herein, superparamagnetic single-phase magnetite nanoparticles of hexagonal and spheroidal-shape, with an average size of ca. 15 nm, are generated by laser ablation of bulk iron metal at 1064 nm in a vortex fluidic device (VFD). This is a one-step continuous flow process, in air at ambient pressure, with in situ uptake of the nanoparticles in the dynamic thin film of water in the VFD. The process minimizes the generation of waste by avoiding the need for any chemicals or surfactants and avoids time-consuming purification steps in reducing any negative impact of the processing on the environment.