A facile approach for the synthesis of porous hematite and magnetite nanoparticles through sol-gel self-combustion

Imene Gritli, Afrah Bardaoui, Jamila Ben Naceur, Salah Ammar, Mohammad Abu Haija, Sherif Mohamed Abdel Salam Keshk, Radhouane Chtourou

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Porous magnetite (Fe3O4) and hematite (α-Fe2O3) nanoparticles were prepared via the sol-gel auto-combustion method. The gels were prepared by reacting ferric nitrates (as oxidants) with starch (as fuel) at an elevated temperature of 200 °C. Different ratios (Φ) of ferric nitrates to starch were used for the synthesis (Φ = fuel/oxidant). The synthesized iron oxides were characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Brunauer–Emmet–Teller (BET) and vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM) analysis techniques. The crystal structure, morphology, and specific surface area of the iron oxide nanoparticles (Fe3O4 and α-Fe2O3) were found to be dependent on the starch content. The FT-IR, XRD and VSM analysis of the iron oxides for Φ = 0.3 and 0.7 confirmed the formation of the α-Fe2O3 core, whereas at Φ = 1, 1.7, and 2 showed that Fe3O4 cores were formed with the highest saturation magnetization of 60.36 emu/g at Φ = 1. The morphology of the Fe3O4 nanoparticles exhibited a quasi-spherical shape, while α-Fe2O3 nanoparticles appeared polygonal and formed clusters. The highest specific surface area was found to be 48 m2 g–1 for Φ = 1.7 owing to the rapid thermal decomposition process. Type II and type III isotherms indicated mesoporous structures.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)1916-1932
Number of pages17
JournalTurkish Journal of Chemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021


  • FeO nanoparticles
  • Hematite
  • Sol-gel auto combustion
  • Starch


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