Novel Magnetic Nanoparticles for Medical Imaging
One of the formidable tasks in nanoscience is the fabrication of magnetic nanomaterials with magnetization exceeding the bulk limit, which are critical for many applications such as biomedical treatment, imaging, and as building blocks for bulk magnets. Taking nickel as the example, so far all of the magnetic moments of nickel nanoparticles deposited on a surface generally have magnetic moment in the range of 0.1-0.5 μB/atom or below. The highest magnetic moment of Ni nanoparticles reported so far is 0.57 μB/atom, which is still below the bulk limit.
A major breakthrough in the nanomagnetics has been made recently. Using superfluid helium as the solvent, Ni nanoparticles with the atomic magnetic moments have been obtained. This is attributed to the aggregation of ferromagnetic atoms with maximal atomic spins aligned in parallel inside very cold superfluid helium, where the thermal effect is minimized and the exchange interactions can drive the growth of nanoparticles.
In this PhD project novel nanoparticles will be fabricated using superfluid helium. After being removed from vacuum, the nanomaterials will be transported to Diamond Light Source, and will be investigated using X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS) and X-ray Magnetic Circular Dichroism (XMCD) in order to determine the element specific magnetic moments and anisotropies. Other facilities available at Diamond, such as superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUID) and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (TEM), will also be employed to characterize the properties of the nanoparticles. This will involve collaborators in Italy and Greece.
For UK Students: Fully funded College of Science and Engineering studentship available, 3 year duration.
For EU Students: Fully funded College of Science and Engineering studentship available, 3 year duration
For International (Non-EU) Students: Stipend and Home/EU level fee waiver available, 3 years duration. International students will need to provide additional funds for remainder of tuition fees.
Please direct informal enquiries to the project supervisor.
If you wish to apply formally, please do so via: https://www2.le.ac.uk/colleges/scieng/research/pgr and selecting the project from the list.