Magnetic, electronic, and structural characterization of nonstoichiometric iron oxides at the nanoscale

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We have investigated the structural, magnetic, and electronic properties of nonstoichiometric iron oxide nanocrystals prepared by decomposition of iron(II) and iron(O) precursors in the presence of organic solvents and capping groups. The highly uniform, crystalline, and monodisperse nanocrystals that were produced enabled a full structural and compositional survey by electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction. The complex and metastable behavior of nonstoichiometric iron oxide (wüstite) at the nanoscale was studied by a combination of Mössbauer spectroscopy and magnetic characterization. Deposition from hydrocarbon solvents with subsequent self-assembly of iron oxide nanocrystals into superlattices allowed the preparation of continuous thin films suitable for electronic transport measurements.