Nanoparticles of [Fe(NH2-trz)3]Br2.3H2O (NH2-trz=2-amino-1,2,4-triazole) prepared by the reverse micelle technique: influence of particle and coherent domain sizes on spin-crossover properties

Chemistry. 2009 Jun 15;15(25):6122-30. doi: 10.1002/chem.200900297.


This paper describes the synthesis of iron(II) spin-crossover nanoparticles prepared by the reverse micelle technique by using the non-ionic surfactant Lauropal (Ifralan D0205) from the polyoxyethylenic family. By changing the surfactant/water ratio, the size of the particles of [Fe(NH2-trz)3]Br2.3H2O (with NH2trz=4-amino-1,2,4-triazole) can be controlled. On the macroscopic scale this complex exhibits cooperative thermal spin crossovers at 305 and 320 K. We find that when the size is reduced down to 50 nm, the spin transition becomes gradual and no hysteresis can be detected. For our data it seems that the critical size, for which the existence of a thermal hysteresis can be detected, is around 50 nm. Interestingly, the change of the particle size induces almost no change in the temperature of the thermal spin transition. A systematic determination of coherent domain size carried out on the nanoparticles by powder X-ray diffraction indicates that at approximately 30 nm individual particles consist of one coherent domain.