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ATMP-Stabilized Iron Nanoparticles: Chelator-Controlled Nanoparticle Synthesis



Lauren F. Greenlee, Nikki S. Rentz, Roy H. Geiss


Iron nanoparticles are of interest in fields such as water treatment and alternative energy due to their reactive properties and low cost. When combined with other metals, iron-metal nanoparticles can act as catalysts for a diverse set of reactions. In solution-based nanoparticle synthesis, organic stabilizers play a critical role in the properties of the nanoparticles, including size, morphology, composition, and colloidal stability. Chelator-type molecules can be used as nanoparticle stabilizers, and in this study, we characterize iron nanoparticles synthesized in water in the presence of a phosphonate chelator, amino tris(methylene phosphonic acid) (ATMP) for a range of molar ratios of ATMP to iron. An increase in the molar ratio from 0.05 to 0.8 decreases nanoparticle size from approximately 150 nm to less than 10 nm. Colloidal ATMP-stabilized iron nanoparticles are stable over a broad range of pH values, and zeta potential measurements can be used to evaluate colloidal stability. Diffraction analysis indicates that ATMP-stabilized iron nanoparticles may have a nano-crystallite structure, with potential regions of amorphous iron. Characterization results of ATMP-stabilized iron nanoparticles are compared to results obtained previously for carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC)-stabilized iron nanoparticles.
Journal of Nanoparticle Research


Phosphonate, iron nanoparticles, aqueous synthesis, stabilizer, chelator, oxidation, catalysis


Greenlee, L. , Rentz, N. and Geiss, R. (2014), ATMP-Stabilized Iron Nanoparticles: Chelator-Controlled Nanoparticle Synthesis, Journal of Nanoparticle Research, [online], (Accessed April 24, 2024)
Created November 1, 2014, Updated March 8, 2019