Solution-phase decomposition of ferrocene into wustite-iron oxide core-shell nanoparticles

Matthys J. Loedolff, Rebecca O. Fuller, Gareth L. Nealon, Martin Saunders, Mark A. Spackman, George A. Koutsantonis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report an improved method for the controlled solvent-phase decomposition of ferrocene into highly crystalline monodisperse iron oxide nanoparticles at relatively low temperatures. Solution-phase decomposition of ferrocene into nanoparticles has received little attention in the literature, due to the percieved stability of ferrocene. However, we synthesised wustite FeO-iron oxide core-shell nanoparticles by thermally decomposing ferrocene in 1-octadecene solvent and in the presence of oleic acid and oleylamine, as surfactants. We report procedures that provide cubic and spherical core-shell iron oxide nanoparticles whose size (29.3 +/- 2.3 nm for spheres, 38.6 +/- 6.9 nm for distorted cubes and 23.5 +/- 2.4 nm for distorted cubes with concave faces) and shape can be controlled through simple adjustments to reaction parameters. Transmission electron microscopy, scanning transmission electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, electron energy-loss spectroscopy and powder X-ray diffraction analysis methods were used to characterise the nanoparticles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1603–1611
Number of pages9
JournalDalton Transactions
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2022


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