Nanostructured Pure ψ-Fe2O3 via Forced Precipitation in an Organic Solvent

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Pure maghemite, γ-Fe2O3, was prepared as ultra fine particles in the nanometer-sized range via the forced precipitation method in an organic solvent. The precipitation of iron(III) ions, from iron(III) chloride in 2-propanol led selectively to highly dispersed particles of ferrihydrite, which upon treatment with temperatures higher than 200°C under dynamic vacuum resulted in high-surface-area particles of γ-Fe 2O3. Precipitation in water also led to ferrihydrite, but the final product, after heating at 300°C, contained a mixture of γ-Fe2O3 and α-Fe2O3 (hematite). The precipitation from iron(III) nitrate in water resulted in goethite which was converted to hematite upon heating. On the other hand, the final product in 2-propanol was a mixture of maghemite and hematite. The products were characterized by FTIR, TGA, XRD, and gas sorption analysis. Nitrogen gas adsorption studies for the pure γ-Fe2O 3 samples revealed mesoporous particles with high surface areas in the range of 70-120 m2g-1 after heat treatment at 300°C. The γ-Fe2O3 particles retained their y-phase as well as their mesoporous structure at relatively high temperatures, as high as 400°C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)925-932
Number of pages8
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 20 2004


  • Forced precipitation
  • Hydrolysis
  • Maghemite
  • Mesoporous materials
  • Nanostructures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Organic Chemistry


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