Controlled cobalt doping in biogenic magnetite nanoparticles

J M Byrne, V S Coker, S Moise, P L Wincott, D J Vaughan, F Tuna, E Arenholz, G van der Laan, R A D Pattrick, J R Lloyd, N D Telling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (SciVal)


Cobalt-doped magnetite (CoxFe3 -xO4) nanoparticles have been produced through the microbial reduction of cobalt-iron oxyhydroxide by the bacterium Geobacter sulfurreducens. The materials produced, as measured by superconducting quantum interference device magnetometry, X-ray magnetic circular dichroism, Mössbauer spectroscopy, etc., show dramatic increases in coercivity with increasing cobalt content without a major decrease in overall saturation magnetization. Structural and magnetization analyses reveal a reduction in particle size to less than 4 nm at the highest Co content, combined with an increase in the effective anisotropy of the magnetic nanoparticles. The potential use of these biogenic nanoparticles in aqueous suspensions for magnetic hyperthermia applications is demonstrated. Further analysis of the distribution of cations within the ferrite spinel indicates that the cobalt is predominantly incorporated in octahedral coordination, achieved by the substitution of Fe(2+) site with Co(2+), with up to 17 per cent Co substituted into tetrahedral sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20130134
JournalJournal of the Royal Society, Interface
Issue number83
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2013


  • Cobalt/chemistry
  • Geobacter/metabolism
  • Magnetics
  • Magnetite Nanoparticles/chemistry
  • Nanotechnology/methods
  • X-Ray Diffraction


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