Nanomaterials' properties are highly depended on their atomic structure and composition. This project will focus on the synthesis of dedicated nanoparticles defined properties. The student will investigate the influence of various parameters on particle size, shape, concentration and composition. Experiments will involve wet-chemical techniques in conjunction with state-of-the-art electron microscopy techniques. This project is essential to the group and will be an integral part of the ongoing research activities. For example, recent work by the NbD Team showed that extraordinarily small CoFe2O4 nanoparticles are suitable candidates for enhancing the contrast in targeted T1 magnetic resonance imaging. Other applications of such tailored nanoparticles include flow-catalysis. The work will be carried out in close collaboration with Prof E Arzt (Leibniz Institute for New Materials Saarbruecken, Germany), and industry partners.
Alternatively, research findings will feed into the collaboration with Professor Kylie Vincent. The aim here would be to explore a completely new approach to metal nanocluster assembly via nucleation at an engineered site on the surface of a hydrogenase enzyme molecule. The research exploits directed flow of electrons from oxidation at the catalytic centre of a hydrogenase to reduce metal cations for growth of Pt, Pd, Au or Ag nanoparticles, enabling exquisitely controlled nanoparticle growth and applications in chemo-bio catalysis and photocatalysis.