With is that they combine the remarkable properties

With
the advent of nanotechnology, core shell nanoparticles (CSNs) have emerged as
an area of massive interest on account of their multifunctionality and ability
to showcase symbiotic associations between the individual components rendering
them unique and versatile 1. The principal advantage of CSNs is that they
combine the remarkable properties of the core and the shell and thus provide an
exemplary method for efficient catalysis 2. Furthermore, they are economical
and ecologically innocuous when compared to other nanoparticles3.
Consequently, CSNs manifest several paramount applications in imaging4, sensors5, drug delivery6, environmental remediation7, optoelectronic
devices8, biological
separation9-11, cancer treatment12 and
nanobiotechnology13. A utilitarian approach for
the synthesis of core shell nanoparticles has been devised by the use of
magnetic metal oxides as core and corrosion resistant noble metals as the shell14.

 

Among
various nanomaterials, iron oxide nanoparticles have garnered stupendous
interest due to their superparamagnetic properties15. Magnetic separation is
deemed a handy approach for segregation and reuse of catalyst. Iron oxide
nanoparticles have been reported to have a number of applications in magnetic
resonance imaging (MRI)16-17, pigments18, high-density storage media19,
immunoassays, hyperthermia and tissue repair. Essentially, these iron oxides
exhibit biodegradability and biocompatibility and have a large surface area along
with being highly stable against corrosion20. Dispersion, however, affects
their stability due to formation of aggregates. Additionally, decrease in the
dimensions of these particles has been linked with increase in reactivity.15 On
this account, coating of iron oxide nanoparticles with noble metals was found
to be particularly useful to overcome the aforementioned drawbacks. Among the
several noble metal nanoparticles utilized as the shell component, silver
particles were copiously explored due to their excellent optical, electrical,
catalytic14 and surface plasma resonance properties20. The increased
attention to Ag particles is also due to benefits like nontoxicity and low cost
when juxtaposed with other noble metals14.

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A
number of iron oxide-silver nanoparticles have been synthesised such as [email protected] and [email protected] Diverse methods are
available for their synthesis namely, chemical reduction21,
deposition, solvothermal, transmetalation22, condensation, photoreduction,  electroless plating23 and colloidosome
synthesis24. The solvothermal approach for
the synthesis of heterodimers of hollow iron oxide and silver nanoparticles has
been reported to be a simple and effective procedure to keep a check on the
morphology and size of the core shell nanoparticles25. The process involves a
reaction in the presence of organic solvents like polyol, ethanol or methanol
at a temperature higher than the boiling point of the solvent and high pressure
in a closed system26. Polyols such as ethylene glycol aid in stabilizing
particle growth and preventing interparticle aggregation as a result of steric
interactions27.

 

Core
shell nanoparticles endowed with both photocatalytic and magnetic properties
have been attracting increasing attention in recent years. The stability of
these particles under light irradiation is vital for photocatalysis. Photocatalysts
carry out oxidation and reduction reactions by utilizing light energy. One of the highly significant applications can
be visualized in the degradation of organic dyes. Fast paced industrialization is
linked with the disposal of various toxic pollutants that are pernicious to the
environment and detrimental to human health28. Dyes released into water
bodies are a marked source of eutrophication and turmoil to aquatic life.
Rhodamine B (RhB), a nitrogen containing cationic dye is customarily used in
textile industries and manifests itself as an ecotoxic substance. RhB is known
to exhibit mortality in aquatic organisms like fishes and molluscs and is also
a causative agent of cancer29. Thus, a number of methods have been explored
for its degradation viz., membrane filtration, adsorption, biodegradation, ion
exchange, irradiation, fenton reduction, ozonation, and electro-chemical
destruction30. However, each of the forenamed methods has their respective
disadvantages, propelling the need for an ideal method. The need for an
efficient process for photodegradation of industrial pollutants can be
extinguished by the use of photocatalysts like CSNs since they offer advantages
like low cost and reusability and hasten an otherwise slow process.