A simple, cost-effective, efficient, and green approach to synthesize iron oxide/graphene (Fe 3 O 4 /rGO) nanocomposite using in situ deposition of Fe 3 O 4 nanoparticles on reduced graphene oxide (rGO) sheets is reported. In the redox reaction, the oxidation state of iron(II) is increased to iron(III) while the graphene oxide (GO) is reduced to rGO. The GO peak is not observed in the X-ray diffraction (XRD) pattern of the nanocomposite, thus providing evidence for the reduction of the GO. The XRD spectra do have peaks that can be attributed to cubic Fe 3 O 4. The field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) images show Fe 3 O 4 nanoparticles uniformly decorating rGO sheets. At a low concentration of Fe 2+ , there is a significant increase in the intensity of the FESEM images of the resulting rGO sheets. Elemental mapping using energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis shows that these areas have a significant Fe concentration, but no morphological structure could be identified in the image. When the concentration of Fe 2+ is increased, the Fe 3 O 4 nanoparticles are formed on the rGO sheets. Separation of the Fe 3 O 4 /rGO nanocomposite from the solution could be achieved by applying an external magnetic field, thus demonstrating the magnetic properties of the nanocomposite. The Fe 3 O 4 particle size, magnetic properties, and dispersibility of the nanocomposite could be altered by adjusting the weight ratio of GO to Fe 2+ in the starting material.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.