Weakly magnetic hematite (α-Fe2O3) nanoparticles were synthesized by heating an amorphous polymer supported iron(III) complex (Fe_POL) at 400 °C for 4 h in air. The growth of nanoparticles (NPs) was studied by PXRD, heating the polymer from 150 °C to 400 °C at 25 °C intervals, revealing that, at all temperatures, the only crystalline phase detected is hematite. Conversely, annealing of Fe_POL at 400 °C for 4 h under nitrogen, yielded a material containing wüstite (FeO) as the only crystalline phase, supported onto pyrolised acrylamidic polymer. The synthesized materials were characterized by TXRF, PXRD, SEM-EDS, XPS, Raman and FTIR spectroscopy as well as by magnetic analysis. Differently from natural micrometric hematite, synthesised nano-hematite turned out to be an efficient and recyclable catalyst for the hydrogenation of nitroarenes to the corresponding anilines.
Full paper, open access: https://chemistry-europe.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ejic.202100943