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Synthesis and Processing of Iron (III) Oxide/Silica Nanopowder and Nanocomposite Structures


The composite material system of Iron (III) Oxide (Fe2O3) and Silica (SiO2) was explored due to the unique magnetic properties of Iron (III) Oxide along with the optical properties of Silica. Through a highly controllable and tunable chemical synthesis method utilizing reverse-micelle/sol-gel processes, phase and morphology of Iron (III) Oxide nanoparticles was controlled through variation of calcination temperature from 800ºC - 1100ºC. Four polymorphs of Iron (III) Oxide were observed. Furthermore, core-shell structures comprised of iron oxide cores and silica shells were created with relatively high initial iron oxide concentrations, and densified via Current Activated Pressure Assisted Densification (CAPAD). The densified core-shell were highly transparent despite mismatches in index of refraction of iron oxide and silica, and high initial concentrations of iron oxide.

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