Low-temperature, carbon-free reduction of iron oxide

K. Prabhakaran, K. V.P.M. Shafi, A. Ulman, P. M. Ajayan, Y. Homma, T. Ogino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report here that iron oxide can be reduced completely to elemental iron, through a carbon-free and low-temperature reaction. Nanoparticles of Fe2O3 are completely reduced, resulting in the formation of nanoparticles of Fe, on the surfaces of Si or Ge, at ∼740 and ∼440 °C respectively. We show that this phenomenon is due to the oxygen atoms changing the bonding partner from Fe to Si or Ge, followed by the desorption of the respective monoxides. Therefore, the reduction temperature is dictated by the desorption temperatures of SiO or GeO molecules. The nanoparticles thus formed are magnetic and are of uniform size and shape. On graphite surfaces, however, Fe2O3 retains the original stoichiometry even after annealing at higher temperatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L250-L254
JournalSurface Science
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - May 10 2002


  • Clusters
  • Germanium
  • Iron oxide
  • Oxidation
  • Silicon
  • Silicon oxides
  • Surface chemical reaction
  • X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Low-temperature, carbon-free reduction of iron oxide'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this