Synthesis of magnetite nanoparticles using electrochemical oxidation


  • Ye. Ya. Levitin
  • I. D. Roy
  • O. S. Kryskiv
  • T. M. Chan



Nanoparticles, Electrochemical Techniques, Magnetics


The monodisperse magnetite nanoparticles are promising for use in the biomedical industry for targeted drug delivery, cell separation and biochemical products, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, immunological studies, etc.

Classic method for the synthesis of magnetite is the chemical condensation Elmores, it is simple and cheap, but it is complicated by the formation of side compounds which impair the magnetic properties of the final product. Biological and medical purposes require high purity magnetite nanoparticles.

Electrochemical methods of producing nanoparticles of magnetite acquire significant spread. The kinetics of electrochemical processes are a function of a larger number of parameters than the kinetics of conventional chemical reaction, thus electrochemical reactions can be thinner and more completely adjusted to give a predetermined size nanoparticles. In the kinetics of the electrochemical oxidation and reduction the important role is played by the nature of the electrode. In many industrial processes, it is advisable to use lead dioxide anodes with titanium current lead.

Purpose of the work

To determine the optimum conditions of electrochemical oxidation of Fe2+ Fe3+to produce magnetite with high purity and improved magnetic characteristics.

Materials and methods

Electrochemical studies were carried out in a glass cell ЯСЭ-2 using a potentiostat ПИ-50-1.1 and a recording device ПДА1. Reference electrode - silver chloride ЭВЛ1М 3.1, potentials listed on the hydrogen scale. The test solution contained 80 g/ l FeSO4×7H2O and H2SO4(to pH 1). The pH of the solution was measured with a pH–meter « рН–150».

Concentration ratio of Fe3+/Fe2+in the solution was measured by permanganometric method. Magnetite particle sizes were measured by an electron microscope computer ЭВМ-100Л, an increasing is 2×105.

Saturation magnetization was evaluated by the magnetization curve, for the measured sample in the field with strength of 800 kA/m. Measurements were performed using microwebermeter Ф191.

Results and discussion

On lead dioxide anode in an acidic solution of FeSO4 the basic process is the process of Fe2+– = Fe3+ oxidation. The rate of this process increases at potentials higher than 1.3V, which is associated with the passage adjacent the reduction reaction of water to oxygen.

At potentials higher than 1.7V passage of process conditions is achieved: 3Н2О – = О3 + 6Н+, which is more energy intensive and therefore undesirable. To intensify the anodic process it is necessary to apply the mixing that reduces the thickness of the diffusion layer near the electrode and allows oxidation at a current density of 0.7-1.2 A/dm2.

Under appropriate conditions of electrolysis (high current density of the cathode, acidification of the solution) loss of iron Fe2+ is avoided at the expense of cathodic discharge, as mainly at the cathode the reducing of cations H+ occurs.

As the result of the electrolysis the solution containing Fe3++and Fe2+ (2:1) was obtained. After alkalization the precipitate Fe3O4i was formed. The particle size is 10 – 15 nm, the magnetic susceptibility is 1.18.

On the basis of magnetite the experimental samples of magnetic fluid were synthesized. The saturation magnetization of the magnetic fluid is 35 kA/m.


1. Electrochemical method of oxidation Fe2+ Fe3+ has been proposed using lead dioxide anode and the optimal conditions of electrolysis has been determined.

2. Obtained magnetite is of high purity and improved magnetic properties. It can be used to create new magnetically dosage forms.




Baranov, D. A., & Gubin, S. P. (2009) Magnitnye nanochasticy: dostizheniya i problemy khimicheskogo sinteza [Magnetic nanoparticles: recent advances and difficulties in chemical synthesis] Radioe`lektronika. Nanosistemy. Informacionnye tehnologii, 1(1), 129–147. [in Russian].

Chumming, J., & Xiangqin, L. (2009) Electrochemical synthesis of Fe3O4-Pb nanoparticles with core-shell structure and its electrocatalytic reduction toward H2O2. J. Solid State Electrochem, 13, 1273–1278. doi: 10.1007/s10008-008-0667-3.

Liu, T. Y., Hu, S. H., Liu, D. M., Chen, S. Y., & Chen, I. W. (2009) Biomedical nanoparticle carriers with combined thermal and magnetic responses. Nano Today., 4, 52–65.

Gaihre, B., Khil, M. S., Lee, D. R., & Kim, H. Y. (2009) Gelatin-coated magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles as carrier system: Drug loading and in vitro drug release study. Inter. J. Pharm., 365, 180–189. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2008.08.020.

Jia, X., Tan, L., Zhou, Y., Jiang, X., Xie, Q., Tang, H., & Yao, S. (2009) Magnetic immobilization and electrochemical detection of leukemia K562 cells. Electrochem. Commun., 11, 141–144.

Lu, A.-H., Salabas, E. L., & Schuth, F. (2007) Magnetic nanoparticles: synthesis, protection, functionalization, and application. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 46, 1222–1244.

Elmore, W. C. (1938) Ferromagnetic colloid for studying magnetic structures. Phys. Rev., 54(4), 309–310. doi: 10.1002/anie.200602866.

Murbe, J., Rechtenbach, A., & Topfer, J. (2008) Synthesis and physical characterization of magnetite nanoparticles for biomedical applications. Mater. Chem. Phys., 110, 426–433. doi: 10.1016/j.matchemphys.2008.02.037.

Wang, J., Yao, M., Xu, G., Cui, P., & Zhao, J. (2009) Synthesis of monodispersenanocrystals of high crystallinity magnetite through solvothermal process. Mater. Chem. Phys., 113, 6–9.

Blum, E`. Ya., Maiorov, M. M., & Tsebers, A. O. (1989) Magnitnye zhydkosti [Magnetic fluids]. Riga: Zynatne. [in Latvia].

Setyawan, H., Fajaroh, F., Widiyastuti, W., Winardi, S.,Wuled, I., & Nandang, L. (2012) One-step synthesis of silica-coated magnetite nanoparticles by electrooxidation of iron in sodium silicate solution. J.Nanopart. Res., 14, 807–816.

Nishio, K., Ikeda, M., Gokon, N., Tsubouchi, S., Narimatsu, H., Mochizuki, Y. et al. (2007) Preparation of size-controlled (30–100 nm) magnetite nanoparticles for biomedical applications. J. Magn. Magn.Mater, 310, 2408–2410.

Roberge, P. R. (2012) Handbook of Corrosion Engineering. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Marques, R. F. C., Garcia, C., Lecante, P., Ribeiro, J. L., Noe, L., Silva, N. J. O., et al. (2008) Electro-precipitation of Fe3O4 nanoparticles in ethanol. J. Magn. Magn.Mater., 320, 2311–2315.

Cabrera, L., Gutierrez, S., Menendes, N., Morales, M. P., & Herrasti, P. (2008) Magnetite nanoparticles: Electrochemical synthesis and characterization. Electrochem. Acta., 53, 3436–3441.

Liu, N., Wu, D., Wu, H., Liu, C., & Luo, F. (2008) A versatile and “green” electrochemical method for synthesis of copper and other transition metal oxide and hydroxide nanostructures. Mater. Chem. Phys., 107, 511–517.

Rotinyan, A. L., Tikhonov, K.,Y., Shoshina, Y.,A., Timonov, A. M. (2013) Teoreticheskaya e`lektrokhimiya [Theoretical Electrochemistry]. Moscow: Student. [in Russian].

Horbachov, A. K. (2002) Tekhnichna elektrokhimiia. Ch. 1. Elektrokhimichni vyrobnytstva khimichnykh produktiv [Technіcal electrochemistry. P. I. Electrochemical production of chemicals]. Kharkiv: Prapor. [in Ukrainian].

Fertman, V. E. (1988) Magnitnye zhidkosti [Magnetic fluids]. Minsk. Vysshaya shkola. [in Belarus].

Berkovskij, V. M., Medvedev, V. F., & Krakov, M. O. (1990) Magnitnye zhidkosti [Magnetic fluids]. Moscow: Khymiya. [in Russian].

How to Cite

Levitin YY, Roy ID, Kryskiv OS, Chan TM. Synthesis of magnetite nanoparticles using electrochemical oxidation. CIPM [Internet]. 2014Jul.8 [cited 2023Dec.8];(2). Available from:



Synthesis of the biologically active compounds