Zinc Ferrite Nanoparticles via Coprecipitation Modified Method: Glycerol as Structure Directing and Stabilizing Agent

Coprecipitation is one of the most practical methods used to synthesize ferrite nanoparticles. Fine characteristics of these materials can be improved by means of a series of modifications in the synthesis method. In this paper we present a study of influence of glycerol as structure directing and stabilizing agent in the synthesis of zinc ferrite nanoparticle, exploring its chelating capacity and oxidation. The studied materials include two series of zinc ferrite samples and its precursors obtained with or without glycerol throughout different stages during the synthesis process. The structural and morphological characteristics were evaluated by means of different techniques such as X-ray diffraction, Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy, scanning and transmission electron microscopy and thermal analysis. The oxidation of glycerol was determined by high-performance liquid chromatograph. The obtained results demonstrate that zinc ferrite crystals synthesized in the presence of glycerol are initially bigger than those synthesized in absence of it, but according to the oxidation process they tend to decrease giving rise to intermediate phases. Interestingly, these samples grow back during more advanced stages and become structurally better organized, compared to the series of samples produced in absence of glycerol. These results indicate that glycerol is capable to modify the synthesis route of zinc ferrite nanoparticles via coprecipitation, acting directly over the size and morphology of the crystals.