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Partic. vol. 45 pp. 42-48 (August 2019)
doi: 10.1016/j.partic.2018.06.003

Highly efficient and flexible preparation of water-dispersed Fe3O4 nanoclusters using a micromixer

Xiaojing Liu, Yangcheng Lu*

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luyc@tsinghua.edu.cn

Highlights

    • Achieves reliable continuous synthesis of water-dispersed MNCs using a micromixer. • Decreases the required surfactant addition to ensure well dispersed nanoclusters. • Tailors the size of the MNCs from 30 to 200 nm by controlling the mixing process. • Prepares MNC dispersions with high solid contents.

Abstract

Solvent exchange is widely used to synthesize magnetic nanoclusters (MNCs). However, it remains a challenge to increase the production and decrease the addition of surfactants, both of which are important for the application and functionalization of MNCs. Herein, we use a rapid and tunable mixing method to control the assembly of Fe3O4 nanoparticles. This method involves shear-mixing in a channel of a T-junction micromixer. Smaller and more monodisperse MNCs were synthesized with less surfactant, when compared with conventional bulk synthesis. Varying the mixing rate and the formula of the magnetic suspension allowed for the flexible adjustment of the nanocluster size while maintaining a uniformly sized MNCs. The flow synthesis and ease of scale-up make this method potentially suitable for broad industrial application.

Graphical abstract

Keywords

Fe3O4; Magnetic nanoparticle; Magnetic nanocluster; Micromixer-assisted continuous synthesis; Bulk synthesis