Water-Dispersible Fe3O4Nanoparticles Modified with Controlled Numbers of Carboxyl Moieties for Magnetic Induction Heating

Takehiro Yachi, Masaki Matsubara, Chen Shen, Shunya Asami, Nathalie B. Milbrandt, Minseon Ju, Sameera Wickramasinghe, Anna Cristina S. Samia, Atsushi Muramatsu, Kiyoshi Kanie

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Monodisperse Fe3O4nanoparticles (NPs) with excellent water dispersibility and stability were prepared by the introduction of the carboxyl group (−COOH) on the surface of the as-prepared oleyl-capped Fe3O4NPs. Controlled introduction of the COOH moieties on the NP surface was carried out by a simple ligand exchange reaction using two types of phosphonic acid ligands with dodecyl moiety and the terminal COOH group. The degree of modification of the COOH group on the particle surface was controlled by tuning the molar ratios of the two phosphonic acids. During the ligand exchange reaction, no change was observed in the crystal structure and morphology of the Fe3O4NPs. The results of Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy confirmed that the two ligands were bound to the Fe3O4NP surface through their phosphoric acid functional groups. The surface coverage and molar ratios of the two ligands were evaluated by thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) and via proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) measurements, respectively. Results obtained from the thermal analyses were consistent with the initial molar ratios of the ligands used in the reaction, which reflect on the efficiency of the developed ligand exchange process. Our COOH-modified Fe3O4NPs could be dispersed in water by deprotonation for over 6 months and exhibit a typical ferrofluid behavior without the addition of other surfactants and dispersants, showing high dispersion stability. Furthermore, the magnetic induction heating performance of the Fe3O4NPs in aqueous dispersions was evaluated and the specific absorption rate (SAR) value was estimated to be 38.3 W/g Fe. These results suggest that our COOH-modified Fe3O4NPs with the desired number of COOH surface moieties can be advantageous for applications such as precise surface design, water-based ferrofluid, and hyperthermia treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7395-7403
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Nano Materials
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jul 23


  • Fe3O4 nanoparticles
  • ligand exchange reaction
  • magnetic induction heating
  • surface modification
  • water dispersion


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