We describe a novel approach for coupling pristine graphene with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles to create dispersed, magnetically responsive hybrids. The magnetic iron oxide (Fe3O4) nanoparticles are synthesized by a co-precipitation method using ferric (Fe 3+) and ferrous (Fe2+) salts and then grafted with polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP). These PVP-grafted Fe3O4 nanoparticles are then used to stabilize colloidal graphene in water. The PVP branches non-covalently attach to the surface of the pristine graphene sheets without functionalization or defect creation. These Fe3O 4-graphene hybrids are stable against aggregation and are highly responsive to external magnetic fields. These hybrids can be freeze-dried to a powder or magnetically separated from solution and still easily redisperse while retaining magnetic functionality. At all stages of synthesis, the Fe 3O4-graphene hybrids display no coercivity after being brought to magnetic saturation, confirming superparamagnetic properties. Microscopy and light scattering data confirm the presence of pristine graphene sheets decorated with Fe3O4 nanoparticles. These materials show promise for multifunctional polymer composites as well as biomedical applications and environmental remediation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)