Researchers are constantly working on new applications for nanoparticles in biological, chemical, and industrial areas. Iron oxides have a useful set of properties for biomedical imaging and catalytic applications.
This article discusses the properties and applications of iron oxide nanoparticles. Iron is a Block D, Period 4 element, while oxygen is a Block P, Period 2 element.
Iron oxide nanoparticles have diameters between about 1 and 100 nm. The two main types are magnetite and its oxidized form maghemite. Iron oxide nanoparticles are graded as an irritant and might cause skin, eye, and respiratory irritations.
The chemical properties of iron oxide nanoparticles are outlined in the following table.
||Iron [Ar] 3d6 4s2
Oxygen [He] 2s2 2p4
The physical properties of iron oxide nanoparticles are given in the following table.
The thermal properties of iron oxide nanoparticles are provided in the table below.
The key applications of iron oxide nanoparticles are as follows:
- In magnetic resonance imaging to provide enhanced contrast at very low concentrations in the nanomolar range for studying tumors
- As a targeted delivery vehicle and as a drug delivery coating for nanoscale anti-cancer drugs
- For magnetic data storage
- In coatings, plastics, nanowires, nanofibers, and textiles and in specific alloy and catalyst applications