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Unmet MAGnetic properties in micro and nano-particles by synthesis through gas-diffusion electrocrystallisation (GDEx)


Memory storage is a defining component of modern computing. It is a key issue because it determines system costs and power consumption. The ability to increase memory storage relies on the discovery, understanding, and improvement of new memory-storage materials. Recently, a third fundamental state for magnetism was experimentally realized in a novel class of matter: the spin-liquid state, after finding a way to synthesize herbertsmithite which is now prospected as a promising memory-storage material. Hydrothermal methods to grow herbertsmithite are available, but they have low production rates and yields and focus on the production of macroscopic crystals, while it is known that nano-scale dimensioned particles do have superior or different properties. Using heterogeneous (electro)catalytic routes, the main problems of the thermal synthesis can be solved. Gas-diffusion electrocrystallization (GDEx) is a new electrochemical process developed at the host organization. It is a rapid one-pot reaction crystallization process, electrochemically steered at the three-phase junction of a porous gas-diffusion cathode. The main objective of this project is to develop, optimize and validate the GDEx technology for the bottom-up synthesis of micro and nano-scaled Zn4-xCux(OH)6Cl2 particles. The project aims to obtain single-phase (pure) herbertsmithite and its polymorphs via GDEx, understanding the mechanism of formation. The project also aims to obtain these materials as solid particles, colloidal dispersions, and thin films, all with preciselly-controlled properties which can result in tailored magnetic functionalities that may result in revolutionized memory storage possibilities. Furthermore, it is aimed to obtain these particles in gram-quantities per day and at least 70% yield, obesides pening the way to a greener synthesis route, operating at mild conditions and reducing the need for hazardous reagents.

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Boeretang 200
2400 Mol

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Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 160 800