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Surface modification of γ-Fe2O3 nanoparticles synthesized by a chemically
induced transition has been attempted by adding ZnCl2 during synthesis.
The structure of the modified particles was studied using X-ray diffraction (XRD)
and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The experimental results showed that ZnFe2O4 grew epitaxially on the γ- Fe2O3 crystallites to form composite nanoparticles with the spinel structure, on which
FeCl3 might be adsorbed. The apparent grain size dc estimated by XRD using the
Scherrer equation was larger rather than smaller than the average particle size measured by TEM.
This paradox can be explained by the effect of absorption in the coating heterolayer.