Nicole Grobert's research group focuses on the synthesis, processing, and characterisation of novel carbon, boron nitride and other non-carbon based nanomaterials such as nanoparticles, nanotubes, nanofibres, nanorods, 2D nanomaterials, and multifunctional hierarchical nanostructures.
The Nanomaterials by Design research team develops new production processes and uses chemical vapour deposition, template routes, and wet-chemical techniques for the controlled manufacturing of nanomaterials. State-of-the-art in situ characterisation is critically important for elucidating the role of individual growth parameters for the controlled formation and the study of structure properties relationships of these new materials.
Close collaboration with a range of internationally leading industry partners plays a pivotal role for the implementation of tailored nanomaterials in end-user applications in the health-care or energy sectors.
The application of the surface energy based solubility parameter theory for the rational design of polymer-functionalized MWCNTs.
Quijano Velasco, P, Porfyrakis, K, Grobert, N
Physical chemistry chemical physics : PCCP
The surface energy based solubility parameters theory was applied to model the degree of polystyrene-functionalisation of MWCNTs in six different organic solvents. The experimental characterization of the polymer-functionalized MWCNTs is consistent with the predictions of this model providing a breakthrough towards the rational design of functionalized MWCNTs based on thermodynamic parameters.
Targeted T1 Magnetic Resonance Imaging Contrast Enhancement with Extraordinarily Small CoFe2O4 Nanoparticles.
Piché, D, Tavernaro, I, Fleddermann, J, Lozano, JG, Varambhia, A, Maguire, ML, Koch, M, Ukai, T, Hernández Rodríguez, AJ, Jones, L, Dillon, F, Reyes Molina, I
ACS applied materials & interfaces
Extraordinarily small (2.4 nm) cobalt ferrite nanoparticles (ESCIoNs) were synthesized by a one-pot thermal decomposition approach to study their potential as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents. Fine size control was achieved using oleylamine alone, and annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy revealed highly crystalline cubic spinel particles with atomic resolution. Ligand exchange with dimercaptosuccinic acid rendered the particles stable in physiological conditions with a hydrodynamic diameter of 12 nm. The particles displayed superparamagnetic properties and a low r2/ r1 ratio suitable for a T1 contrast agent. The particles were functionalized with bile acid, which improved biocompatibility by significant reduction of reactive oxygen species generation and is a first step toward liver-targeted T1 MRI. Our study demonstrates the potential of ESCIoNs as T1 MRI contrast agents.
Probing the bonding in nitrogen-doped graphene using electron energy loss spectroscopy.
Nicholls, RJ, Murdock, AT, Tsang, J, Britton, J, Pennycook, TJ, Koós, A, Nellist, PD, Grobert, N, Yates, JR
Precise control of graphene properties is an essential step toward the realization of future graphene devices. Defects, such as individual nitrogen atoms, can strongly influence the electronic structure of graphene. Therefore, state-of-the-art characterization techniques, in conjunction with modern modeling tools, are necessary to identify these defects and fully understand the synthesized material. We have directly visualized individual substitutional nitrogen dopant atoms in graphene using scanning transmission electron microscopy and conducted complementary electron energy loss spectroscopy experiments and modeling which demonstrates the influence of the nitrogen atom on the carbon K-edge.
Aerosol-assisted chemical vapour deposition synthesis of multi-wall carbon nanotubes: I. Mapping the reactor
Meysami, SS, Dillon, F, Koós, AA, Aslam, Z, Grobert, N