SEM and XRD studies of nanoparticle Fe powders produced by mechanical alloying using two types of ball milling processes


N. Boudinar1,*, A. Djekoun1, A. Otmani1, B. Bouzabata1 and J.M. Greneche2


1Laboratoire de Magnétisme et de Spectroscopie des Solides, Faculté des Sciences, Université Badji Mokhtar, B. P. 12, 23000 Annaba, Algérie

2Laboratoire de Physique de l’État Condensé, UMR CNRS 6087, Faculté des Sciences, Université du

Maine, 72085 Le Mans Cedex 9, France

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Nanoparticles have a variety of unique electronic, magnetic, spectroscopic and chemical properties, due to their very small size and high surface/volume ratio. Nanoparticles have found uses in many applications such as catalysis, sensors, drug delivery, optoelectronics and magnetic devices. Therefore there are several obtaining methods reported in the literature. Among these ones, the mechanical alloying method was discovered to produce fine metal powders.


In the present work, we study the pure Fe nanoparticles prepared by mechanical alloying using both high energy milling processes; a planetary mill with a ball to powder weight ratio of 20:1, and a SPEX mill with a ball to powder weight ratio of 6:1. The influences of mechanical alloying (milling energy) on microstructure and refinement of the powders specimens were investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM).


The results indicate that the pure Fe nanoparticles produced in a planetary and SPEX mill are structurally similar. Structural changes of bcc phase (α-Fe) have been investigated by Rietveld’s analysis of X-ray powder diffraction data. The structural parameters, lattice parameter,  mean  crystallite  size  and  strain  of  α-Fe  phase  were  obtained  from  Rietveld analyses of the X-ray patterns. With increasing the milling time from 0 to 32 h, the lattice parameter increases gradually and the grain size decreases. Powder morphology and particle size have been examined by the SEM.


Keywords:  Fe  powder,  nanoparticles,  X-ray  diffraction,  high-energy  milling  method,  scanning electron microscopy