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PhD project: Smart nanomaterials for green-tech applications

Formation and understanding of nanoparticle-based multifunctional novel materials for green-tech applications, generated by spark ablation
The vision of this project is to produce new nanoscale materials that are beneficial for our environment. This will be done by combining techniques to produce novel multifunctional hybrid nanomaterials, including magnetic materials, based on aerosol-generated nanoparticles and to use processing techniques to create templates for guiding the self-assembly of the nanoparticles into 1D, 2D, and 3D structures. Self-assembled hybrid nanostructures could find use in a wide range of green-tech applications such as catalysts and high-performing magnets.

Graphics depicting production of smart nanoparticles. Graph: Maria Messing

Introduction

The research at the division of Solid State Physics is focused around different aspects of semiconductor physics, ranging from materials science to quantum physics, to different applications. The division also leads NanoLund, the major interdisciplinary research environment within nanoscience and nanotechnology at Lund University. Lund Nano Lab is a central key facility for fabrication of material and devices on the nanoscale. The division is also heavily involved in the undergraduate education, especially within the “Engineering Nanoscience” program.

For the last twenty years our research in generating advanced nanomaterials based on nanoparticles produced with aerosol technology has been in the international forefront. We wish to expand our research in the area by combining advanced aerosol technology with advanced processing technology to produce magnetic nanostructures, which are of great interest in research and industry.

Project specification

Work duties

The goal of the project is combining techniques to produce novel multifunctional hybrid nanomaterials, including magnetic materials, based on aerosol-generated nanoparticles and to use processing techniques to create templates for guiding the self-assembly of the nanoparticles into 1D, 2D and 3D structures. Self-assembled magnetic nanostructures could find use in a wide range of applications such as high-density data storage, magnetic memories, magnetic cooling, catalysis, electromagnetic absorption, cancer treatment, and as building blocks in future high-performing magnets for green technologies. The main focus of the project will be development of multifunctional mixed-metal nanoparticles but the project will also include advanced characterization of the individual nanoparticles as well as the self-assembled structures. This will be done by electron microscopy, x-ray-based characterization techniques and measurements of the magnetic properties using a magnetometer equipped with a superconducting quantum interference device. Hence, the doctoral student will gain comprehensive experience in several important key production and characterization tools for nanomaterials, in addition to forward the knowledge on new types of multifunctional nanomaterials and nanoparticle formation via aerosol routes. We have a large network of international cooperation partners and the PhD studies might include an exchange with another University or a secondment in in industry.              

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

The doctoral student is expected to work independently, as well as in close collaboration with researchers carrying out other tasks within the project.

Desirable skills

We expect that your undergraduate studies include courses in materials science and materials characterization. The research is to a large extent interdisciplinary, and a broad competence profile and experiences from relevant areas of physics (including quantum mechanics), electronics, solid state/semiconductor physics and nanofabrication are of special value. The ability for skillful laboratory work is essential and demonstrated experience will be considered a merit, and so will courses on magnetism. Important personal qualities are, beside creativity and a curious mind, the ability to work both independently and in a group, self-motivation and experience in the scientific interaction with researchers from other disciplines and in other countries.

Enrolment: Physics

Subject curriculum for physics at the Faculty of Engineering TEFAFF00 (pdf, 265kB, new window)

Supervisor

Maria Messing, Senior lecturer at Solid State Physics

Maria Messing's personal page including contact information

Division of Solid State Physics webpage

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