Large Scale Growth and Magnetic Properties of Fe and Fe₃O₄ Nanowires

Jinbo Yang
H. Xu
Shaoxin You
X.-D. Zhou, Missouri University of Science and Technology
C. S. Wang
William B. Yelon, Missouri University of Science and Technology
William Joseph James, Missouri University of Science and Technology

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Fe and Fe3O4 nanowires have been synthesized by thermal decomposition of Fe(CO)5, followed by heat treatments. The Fe wires are formed through the aggregation of nanoparticles generated by decomposition of Fe(CO)5. A core-shell structure with an iron oxide shell and Fe core is observed for the as-prepared Fe wires. Annealing in air leads to the formation of Fe2O3/Fe3O4 wires, which after heat treatment in a N2/alcohol atmosphere form Fe3O4 wires with a sharp Verwey [Nature (London) 144, 327 (1939)] transition at 125 K. The Fe3O4 wires have coercivities of 261 and 735 Oe along the wire axis at RT and 5 K, respectively. The large increase of coercivity at 5 K as compared to RT is due to the increase of anisotropy resulting from the Verwey transition.