Kraffert, K.; Kabelitz, A.; Siemensmeyer, K.; Schmack, R.; Bernsmeier, D.; Emerling, F.; Kraehnert, R.: Nanocasting of Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Films with Ordered Mesoporosity. Advanced Materials Interfaces 5 (2018), p. 1700960/1-8
Maghemite and magnetite show superparamagnetic behavior when synthesized in a nanostructured form. The material's inducible magnetization enables applications ranging from contrast enhancing agents for magnetic resonance imaging to drug delivery systems, magnetic hyperthermia, and separation. Superparamagnetic iron oxides with templated porosity have been synthesized so far only in the form of hard-templated powders, where silicon retained from the template severely degrades the material's magnetic properties. Here, for the first time, the synthesis of superparamagnetic iron oxides with soft-templated mesopore structure is reported. The synthesis of nanostructured maghemite and magnetite films succeeds using micelles of amphiphilic block-copolymers as templates. A thermal treatment of the initially formed mesoporous ferrihydrite in nitrogen produces maghemite, which can be partly reduced to magnetite via thermal treatment in hydrogen while retaining the templated mesopore structure. The resulting materials feature a unique combination of high surface area, controlled pore diameter, and tunable magnetic properties.