Synthesis and characterization of zinc-doped magnetic nanoparticles for diagnostic studies
Allard, Garvin Richard Johan
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In the present study we report the synthesis and characterization of iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles doped with zinc in an attempt to enhance the magnetic properties. The nanoparticles were prepared via the co-precipitation route and capped with 3-phosphonopropionic acid (3-PPA). The amount of zinc dopant was varied to yield nanoparticles with the general formula ZnxFe3-xO4 (x=0, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4). Characterization was carried out using high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), X-ray diffraction spectroscopy (XRD), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) analysis. Results from HRTEM, XRD and SQUID confirm that doping took place and x=0.2 was found to be the doping limit for these nanoparticles with a maximum size of 10.73 nm and saturation magnetization of 73.37 emu/g. The EDS further confirmed successful doping with zinc, while FTIR and TGA confirmed successful capping with 3-PPA. Despite agglomeration at all doping levels, these nanoparticles show great potential for application in breast cancer diagnostic studies.