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Gram scale synthesis of Fe/FexOy core–shell nanoparticles and their incorporation into matrix-free superparamagnetic nanocomposites

  • John Watt (a1), Grant C. Bleier (a1), Zachary W. Romero (a1), Bradley G. Hance (a1), Jessica A. Bierner (a2), Todd C. Monson (a2) and Dale L. Huber (a1)...

Significant reductions recently seen in the size of wide-bandgap power electronics have not been accompanied by a relative decrease in the size of the corresponding magnetic components. To achieve this, a new generation of materials with high magnetic saturation and permeability are needed. Here, we develop gram-scale syntheses of superparamagnetic Fe/FexOy core–shell nanoparticles and incorporate them as the magnetic component in a strongly magnetic nanocomposite. Nanocomposites are typically formed by the organization of nanoparticles within a polymeric matrix. However, this approach can lead to high organic fractions and phase separation; reducing the performance of the resulting material. Here, we form aminated nanoparticles that are then cross-linked using epoxy chemistry. The result is a magnetic nanoparticle component that is covalently linked and well separated. By using this ‘matrix-free’ approach, we can substantially increase the magnetic nanoparticle fraction, while still maintaining good separation, leading to a superparamagnetic nanocomposite with strong magnetic properties.

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