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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(10), 19452-19473; doi:10.3390/ijms141019452
Article

Mixtures of l-Amino Acids as Reaction Medium for Formation of Iron Nanoparticles: The Order of Addition into a Ferrous Salt Solution Matters

1,* , 2,†
, 2,†
, 2
, 3
 and 1
1 Department of Physical Chemistry, Regional Centre of Advanced Technologies and Materials, Palacký University in Olomouc, 783 71 Olomouc, Czech Republic 2 Department of Experimental Physics, Regional Centre of Advanced Technologies and Materials, Palacký University in Olomouc, 783 71 Olomouc, Czech Republic 3 Institute of Physics, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University in Prague, Prague, Ke Karlovu 5, 121 16 Prague 2, Czech Republic These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 May 2013 / Revised: 24 June 2013 / Accepted: 30 August 2013 / Published: 25 September 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Magnetic Nanoparticles 2013)
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Abstract

Owing to Mössbauer spectroscopy, an advanced characterization technique for iron-containing materials, the present study reveals previously unknown possibilities using l-amino acids for the generation of magnetic particles. Based on our results, a simple choice of the order of l-amino acids addition into a reaction mixture containing ferrous ions leads to either superparamagnetic ferric oxide/oxyhydroxide particles, or magnetically strong Fe0-Fe2O3/FeOOH core-shell particles after chemical reduction. Conversely, when ferric salts are employed with the addition of selected l-amino acids, only Fe0-Fe2O3/FeOOH core-shell particles are observed, regardless of the addition order. We explain this phenomenon by a specific transient/intermediate complex formation between Fe2+ and l-glutamic acid. This type of complexation prevents ferrous ions from spontaneous oxidation in solutions with full air access. Moreover, due to surface-enhanced Raman scattering spectroscopy we show that the functional groups of l-amino acids are not destroyed during the borohydride-induced reduction. These functionalities can be further exploited for (i) attachment of l-amino acids to the as-prepared magnetic particles, and (ii) for targeted bio- and/or environmental applications where the surface chemistry needs to be tailored and directed toward biocompatible species.
Keywords: γ-Fe2O3; FeOOH; zero-valent iron; NZVI; Mössbauer spectroscopy; SERS; arginine; arginate; glutamic acid; glutamate; nanomagnetism γ-Fe2O3; FeOOH; zero-valent iron; NZVI; Mössbauer spectroscopy; SERS; arginine; arginate; glutamic acid; glutamate; nanomagnetism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Šišková, K.M.; Machala, L.; Tuček, J.; Kašlík, J.; Mojzeš, P.; Zbořil, R. Mixtures of l-Amino Acids as Reaction Medium for Formation of Iron Nanoparticles: The Order of Addition into a Ferrous Salt Solution Matters. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 19452-19473.

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