Nano-particles of γ-Fe2O3 were synthesized by reacting polyethylene oxide-FeCl3 complex with NH4OH. These were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron miscroscopy (SEM), selected area electron diffraction (SAED) and transmision electron microscopy (TEM). The average particle size was found to be 10 nm, as determined from the line broadening of the main XRD peak. The crystalline phase was a spinel-type tetragonal structure, which was confirmed from the electron diffraction pattern. The zero field cooled magnetization of samples with varying γ-Fe2O3 content as a function of temperature was measured using a vibrating sample magnetometer. The magnetization curves show a peak at low temperature (15 K) corresponding to the blocking temperature TB. The value of TB was found to decrease with decreasing particle size. The magnetization measurements with respect to field at 5 and 170 K confirmed the transition from superparamagnetic to spin-glass state at TB, as evidenced from the remanence and hysteresis. These results can be explained on the basis of Néel's theory of superparamagnetism as applied to nano-particles. © 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd.