Magnetophoresis of Superparamagnetic Nanoparticles Applied to the Extraction of Lanthanide Ions in the Presence of Magnetic Field

Fernando Menegatti de Melo, Sabrina da Nobrega Almeida, Antonio Domingues dos Santos and Henrique Eisi Toma


Magnetic migration (magnetophoresis) and extraction of Dy3+ ions by magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles functionalized with diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (MagNP@DTPA) were probed, using an analytical balance and an external weighing device comprising a miniature neodymium (Nd2Fe14B) magnet and a Lego® system. Contrary to our expectation, when the paramagnetic Dy3+ ions were captured by the superparamagnetic nanoparticles, the overall magnetization decreased, due to the anti-ferromagnetic dipolar interactions between the lanthanide ion and the superparamagnetic core. This finding allowed to monitor, in real time, the lanthanide extraction process (nanohydrometallurgy) and the nanoparticles migration in the magnetic field.