American Chemical Society
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Solution Voltammetry of 4 nm Magnetite Iron Oxide Nanoparticles

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journal contribution
posted on 2014-07-30, 00:00 authored by Joseph J. P. Roberts, John A. Westgard, Laura M. Cooper, Royce W. Murray
The voltammetry of solution-dispersed magnetite iron oxide Fe3O4 nanoparticles is described. Their currents are controlled by nanoparticle transport rates, as shown with potential step chronoamperometry and rotated disk voltammetry. In pH 2 citrate buffer with added NaClO4 electrolyte, solution cyclic voltammetry of these nanoparticles (average diameter 4.4 ± 0.9 nm, each containing ca. 30 Fe sites) displays an electrochemically irreversible oxidation with EPEAK at ca. +0.52 V and an irreversible reduction with EPEAK at ca. +0.2 V vs Ag/AgCl reference electrode. These processes are presumed to correspond to the formal potentials for one-electron oxidation of Fe­(II) and reduction of Fe­(III) at their different sites in the magnetite nanoparticle structure. The heterogeneous electrode reaction rates of the nanoparticles are very slow, in the 10–5 cm/s range. The nanoparticles are additionally characterized by a variety of tools, e.g., TEM, UV/vis, and XPS spectroscopies.