ATMP-stabilized iron nanoparticles: chelator-controlled nanoparticle synthesis

Lauren F. Greenlee, Nikki S. Rentz

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16 Scopus citations


In this study, we characterize iron nanoparticles synthesized in water in the presence of a phosphonate chelator, amino tris(methylene phosphonic acid) (ATMP) for a range of molar ratios of ATMP to iron. An increase in the molar ratio from 0.05 to 0.8 decreases nanoparticle size from approximately 150 nm to less than 10 nm. Zeta potential measurements were used to evaluate colloidal stability. Zeta potential values varied as a function of pH, and zeta potential values decreased with increasing pH. At lower molar ratios of ATMP to iron, the zeta potential varied between 15 and −40 mV, passing through an isoelectric point at pH 7.5. At higher ratios, the zeta potential was negative across the measured pH range of 2–12 and varied from −2 to −55 mV. Diffraction analysis indicates that ATMP-stabilized iron nanoparticles may have a nano-crystalline structure, potentially with regions of amorphous iron. Characterization results of ATMP-stabilized iron nanoparticles are compared to results obtained for carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC)-stabilized iron nanoparticles. CMC stabilization caused similar peak broadening in diffraction spectra as for ATMP, suggesting similar nano-crystalline/amorphous structure; however, an increase in the molar ratio of CMC to iron did not cause the same reduction in nanoparticle size as was observed for ATMP-stabilized iron nanoparticles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2712
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Chemistry
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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