• magnetic properties;
  • Mn3O4 nano-octahedra;
  • photodecomposition;
  • rhodamine B;
  • tomography


Very uniform and well shaped Mn3O4 nano-octahedra are synthesized using a simple hydrothermal method under the help of polyethylene glycol (PEG200) as a reductant and shape-directing agent. The nano-octahedra formation mechanism is monitored. The shape and crystal orientation of the nanoparticles is reconstructed by scanning electron microscopy and electron tomography, which reveals that the nano-octahedra only selectively expose {101} facets at the external surfaces. The magnetic testing demonstrates that the Mn3O4 nano-octahedra exhibit anomalous magnetic properties: the Mn3O4 nano-octahedra around 150 nm show a similar Curie temperature and blocking temperature to Mn3O4 nanoparticles with 10 nm size because of the vertical axis of [001] plane and the exposed {101} facets. With these Mn3O4 nano-octahedra as a catalyst, the photodecomposition of rhodamine B is evaluated and it is found that the photodecomposition activity of Mn3O4 nano-octahedra is much superior to that of commercial Mn3O4 powders. The anomalous magnetic properties and high superior photodecomposition activity of well shaped Mn3O4 nano-octahedra should be related to the special shape of the nanoparticles and the abundantly exposed {101} facets at the external surfaces. Therefore, the shape preference can largely broaden the application of the Mn3O4 nano-octahedra.