Films with a gradient concentration of magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles are reported, based on a phase inversion membrane process. Nanoparticles with ∼13 nm diameter were prepared by coprecipitation in aqueous solution and stabilized by oleic acid. They were further functionalized by ATRP leading to grafted polystyrene brush. The final nanoparticles of 33 nm diameter were characterized by TGA, FTIR spectroscopy, GPC, transmission electron microscopy, and dynanmic light scattering. Asymmetric porous nanoparticle assemblies were then prepared by solution casting and immersion in water. The nanocomposite film production with functionalized nanoparticles is fast and technically scalable. The morphologies of films were characterized by scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy, demonstrating the presence of sponge-like structures and finger-like cavities when 50 and 13 wt % casting solutions were, respectively, used. The magnetic properties were evaluated using vibrating sample magnetometer.
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