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Magnetic Nanoparticles and Thin Films for Spintronic Applications and High Performance Permanent Magnets

Final Report Summary - NANOMAG (Magnetic Nanoparticles and Thin Films for Spintronic Applications and High Performance Permanent Magnets)

Magnetic Nanoparticles and Thin Films for Spintronic Applications and High Performance Permanent Magnets (NANOMAG) was a staff exchange program aiming to strengthen the interaction among the participants involved and to establish a Worldwide-extending Virtual Center of Excellence in the Area of Nanostructured Magnetic Materials.
The project was based on existing collaborations among partners, together with shared PhD programs, promoting further collaboration and exchange of staff among six Prominent European Union Universities and Research Institutes, with four top-class laboratories, three from USA and one from Korea:
1. National Centre for Scientific Research “Demokritos” (NCSR-D), Greece (Coordinator) (EU Member);
2. "Jožef Stefan" Institute (JSI), Slovenia (EU Member);
3. National Research Council (CNR), Italy (EU Member);
4. University of Ioannina (UIOAN), Greece (EU Member);
5. Adam Mickiewicz University (AMU), Poland (EU Member);
6. University of Cyprus (UCYPR), Cyprus (EU Member);
7. Korea Basic Science Institute (KBSI), South Korea (Non EU Member);
8. University of Delaware (UDEL), USA (Non EU Member);
9. University of Florida (UFLOR), USA (Non EU Member);
10. University of North Texas (UNT), USA (Non EU Member).

Project’s objective
NanoMag’s objective was to synthesize and characterize novel magnetic nanostructured materials for spintronic devices, high performance permanent magnets and co-polymer dressed magnetic nanoparticles for biomedical applications.
The project was developed in three scientific Pillars:
(a) Nanopatterned Magnetic Materials, mainly transition metal oxides and Spinel Ferrites, as well as their hybrids with Molecule/Organic-based Magnets (MOM) for spintronic applications.
(b) Magnetic Nanocomposites for novel Permanent Magnets.
(c) Modified Magnetic Nanoparticles in colloids for Biomedical Applications.

Work program
The project’s work plan was divided in six work packages (WP), which can be briefly summarized as follows:
WP 1 focused on the synthesis and characterization of rear earth/transition metal nanoparticles and thin films. In this work package a series of rare earth intermetallic alloys R2Fe14B have been produced and their potential application as permanent magnets / magnetic performance has been explored. Furthermore synthesis and characterization of LCMO samples with variable dopping levels and of layered thin films of LCMO deposited on SrTiO3 substrates were accomplished. In addition, within this work package the physical properties and magnetism of an icosahedral Au-Al-Yb quasicrystal have been studied, soft Fe–Co nanoparticles have been synthesized and FePt samples have been fabricated in the form of graded media, thin films, nanowires and nanoparticles. WP 2 involved the synthesis and functionalization of Molecule/Organic-based-Magnets. Within the framework of this work package fourteen novel clusters have been isolated and characterized by the use of alkoxy-containing ligands in Mn and Mn/Ni coordination chemistry. Two molecular based magnetic materials have been selected for thin film preparation. In addition,functionalized MOM were deposited on transition metal oxide based thin films using a combination of known deposition techniques to achieve monolayers fabrication. WP 3 explored the functionalization and characterization of magnetic iron-based nanoparticles for biomedical applications. The tasks of this work package were accomplished with the synthesis and characterization (structural and magnetic) of hollow ferrite nanoparticles and of maghemite nanoparticles embedded in laponite nanodisks. WP 4 was oriented in the fabrication and testing of prototype spintronic devices. In this context monolayers of molecular magnet complexes were fabricated by a technique combining Langmuir-Schaefer deposition and self-assemby. WP 5 aimed at the fabrication/consolidation and characterization of nanocomposite magnets and was implemented by synthesizing magnetically hard Sm-Co nanoparticles and investigating in detail their structural and magnetic properties. Finally the main objective of work package 6 was the Laboratory Testing of Magnetic Hyperthermia and Relaxivity efficiency for MRI. Towards that aim ferrofluids comprising iron oxide nanoparticles immobilized on nano-clay discs have been prepared and the dependence of the specific absorption rate (SAR) on iron oxide concentration and electromagnetic field amplitude was thoroughly investigated.

1. Training of young scientists who were given the opportunity to upgrade their experimental and professional skills in cutting edge research and technologies.
2. A pioneering work in the field of novel nanomagnets Bi2Se3, which was conducted cooperatively by NCSR-D, KBSI and UIOAN with the contribution of researchers from the Petroleum Institute (UAE). This outstanding research resulted in a joint publication: “Unexpected orbital magnetism in Bi-rich Bi2Se3 nanoplatelets”, in NPG Asia Materials, with enormous impact as manifested in:
3. The successful collaboration between the members of the consortium laid the cornerstone for the outspread of their cooperation to novel research areas.

Benefits and outgrowth
The project was implemented by research groups with unique qualifications and a multidisciplinary expertise in the field of nanostructured materials. This ensured wide spreading of knowledge and expertise, especially to Post Docs and PhD students, who are the foundation of the next generation scientists. Especially the young scientists involved in the project had the unique opportunity to work with people of different levels of seniority and experience, thus enriching their knowledge, and to gain invaluable experience in state-of -the- art facilities and infrastructure.
The partners of the consortium had the opportunity to strengthen their collaboration, while the scientific outcomes of the research activities laid the foundation for the establishment of new long lasting, profitable and succesful collaborations. The joint research on novel nano magnets led to a currently active collaboration of the three institutes (KBSI, NCSR-D and UIOAN) involved in the consortium with the Petroleum Institute (UAE) on projects funded by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), focusing on the development of novel materials with high impact on basic and applied research.