The Permanent Magnets, Magnetic Recording, and Thermoelectrics group is involved in research which investigates and seeks to exploit magnetic properties, ferromagnetism in particular, in a range of applications.
Synthesis of materials is carried out by arc and RF melting, melt spinning for amorphous materials, as well by sputtering deposition of thin films. Rare-Earth Transition metal materials are major area of research for the group.
Rare-Earth based Permanent-Magnets, have been considered as a mature technology, but the 2011 rare earth supply crisis raised serious questions about their sustainability and geopolitical risk; leading to the re-evaluation of hard magnets containing little or no RE, especially the heavy RE (Tb, Dy) as an important area of research as PM become more vital for energt efficient machines. Our work is on the optimization of RE Co-doped magnets using for example MM (mischmetal) or other doping elements or ideally producing rare earth free PM.
Research in nanomaterials chemistry focuses on nanoparticles synthesis via bottom-up liquid phase approaches utilizing simple inorganic metal salts in combination with appropriate capping molecules (amines, phosphines, carboxylic acids etc.), and reducing agents in water or organic solvent environment. Through controlling the basic reaction parameters, particles’ sizes and shapes can be successfully manipulated in 1, 2 and 3D, in a plethora of materials including magnetic alloys, quantum dots, metal oxides, sulfides and phosphides, organic/inorganic hybrids, zeolites and MOF with applications in permanent magnets, energy storage catalysis, biomedicine, and self-assembly.
The research for the relationship between the magnetic properties of topological insulators and their electronic band structure offer new insights into recent debates regarding the evolution of the band structure with temperature in these materials, which exhibit uncommon quantum phenomena and are proposed to be critical in next-generation electronics and quantum computers. This unique characteristic allows these materials to exhibit a range of exotic quantum phenomena that may be useful for quantum computing and advanced optoelectronic systems.