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Useful Effect of Defect in Non-Stoichiometric Nanoceria

High-performance colloidal cerium and iron oxide nanomaterials are available for environmental, energy-related and biomedical research

Whereas bulk cerium dioxide (93-5810; 93-5816) is mainly used for ceramics, industrial polishing and coating technologies, nanosized cerium oxide is an essential component of many environmental, biomedical and energy-related materials. High purity ceria (58-0800) has applications in electronic and gas sensing devices. The unique physicochemical properties of cerium(IV) oxide are due to its structure, where electron deficiency in CeO2 (or CeO2-X) is dictated by defects under a chemical network of oxygen in the lattice structure and associated to the reversible Ce4+ <—> Ce3+ process.1 The content of Ce4+ and Ce3+ can be adjusted by doping or by oxidizing and reducing conditions.

Existing oxygen vacancies can be refilled via Ce3+ oxidation and therefore ceria-based materials can provide high oxygen storage capacity. Currently, one of the best oxygen storage materials is CeO2–ZrO2. Since oxygen atoms move easily through ceria, it is used as an electrolyte in solid oxide fuel cells and responsible for transporting O2− ions at temperatures up to 500-650°C.

Because of its relatively high oxygen conductivity, non-stoichiometric ceria in conjunction with solar energy can split water.2 As a mixture of CO2 and H2O, hydrogen can form.3 Ceria acts as a catalyst and serves as a robust catalytic carrier for many processes including organic reactions4, automotive catalytic convertors, Fischer-Tropsch technology, biomass-to-liquid, gas-to-liquid, hydrogen purification and other production processes.5 Very often ceria is used in combination with iron oxide to enhance the catalytic activity.6-7

Research on nanoceria for biomedical application is relatively young.  In particular, cerium oxide has a strong anti-oxidant effect.7 High concentrations of reactive oxygen species, such as free radicals can damage healthy cells in human body and contribute to heart diseases. Due to its capabilities to scavenge free radicals, ceria nanoparticles can inhibit inflammatory mediator production and reduce cell apoptosis.8-9 Currently, nanoceria is one of the most promising catalytic antioxidants. However, there are challenges before any practical applications are realized. There are many critical reviews on this subject.10-13


TEM images of Iron Oxide (26-2758), cerium oxide (58-0860) and Cerium-Iron Oxides (58-0865).


In collaboration with Cerion, LLC Strem offers high-performance cerium-based nanomaterials in water and organic media.  The following are available:

58-0850 (in water at pH 9.0±0.5)

58-0860 (in water at pH 3.5±0.75)

26-2758 (in water at pH 3.0±0.5)

58-0865 (in water at pH 4.75±0.25)

58-0870 (in octanoic acid and Kensol 50H)

Cerion's process allows control of particle sizes down to 1nm.  The particles are sized from 2nm to 10nm with a narrow distribution and remain unagglomerated in water solution through the use of surface stabilizers. Cerion's products are stable for a minimum of 6 months at room temperature, although many have proven to be stable for years. Nanoparticle concentrations can reach 10-20wt%.



  1.    J. Phys. Chem. B, 2003, 107 (42), pp 11666–11673
  2.    J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2011, 133, 6930-6933
  3.    Science, 2010, 330, 1797-1801
  4.    ChemSusChem, 2010, 3, 654 – 678
  5.    ChemCatChem, 2015, 7,3614 –3624
  6.    Ceramics International, 2015, 41, 13721–13730
  7.    Environ. Sci. Technol., 2012, 46, 10145−10153
  8.    Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun., 2006, 342, 86–91.
  9.    ACS Nano, 2011, 5, 4537-4549
  10.    Chem. Rev., 2014, 114, 7740−7781
  11.    Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2015, 2, 33-53
  12.    NPG Asia Materials, 2014, 6, e90
  13.    Nanoscale, 2011, 3, 1411-1420


View the products mentioned in this blog on our website:

Cerion Nanoparticle Products


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