RESEARCH & PROJECTS

Current main research lines of the GMMMT group

The Group of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials was stablished in 80´s and is focused on the synthesis,  characterization and design of novel magnetic materials with different technological applications. Nowadays, we are working on the following main research areas:

  1. Nanostructured magnetic materials.
  2. Magnetic Nanoparticles
  3. Magnetoactive materials

One of the specific activities of the group and common to all the research lines is the use of large scale facilities around the world, such as neutron sources (ILL (Frnace) and ISIS (United Kindgdom)) or synchrotron radiation facilities (ALBA (Spain), Elettra (Italy), ESRF ( France), Spring-8 (Japan) and APS (USA)).

NANOSTRUCTURED MAGNETIC MATERIALS

This research area is focused on the preparation of thin films magnetic nanostructures  by sputtering deposition technique. The main goal is to obtain nanostructures with specific magnetic and magnetotransport properties for its use in magnetic sensors. The main materials are: a) Nanogranular thin films composed of  transition metal (TM) nanoparticles embedded in a  noble metal matrix (M)  (being TM=Cr, Fe, Co, Ni; M= Ag, Au) with Giant-Magnetoresistent properties; b) Rare earths/Transition metals multilayers with typical Spin Valve features; c) Sandwich structure multilayers [Fe20Ni80/Ti]n/ Conductor/[Fe20Ni80/Ti]n for Giant Magnetoimpedance studies; d) nanostructured films fabricated by nanosphere lithography and nanoporous alumina template lithography techniques.

MAGNETIC NANOPARTICLES

Magnetic nanoparticles have been subject of intesive research due to their interesting properties suitable in numerous applications of very diverse areas: environment, electromagnetic radiation protection, biomedicine or data storage, among others. One of the main challenge to be faced is to be able to obtain high amounts of nanoparticles with the right composition, size and shape, narrow size distributions and surface which can be easily functionalized for their future applications. This group adresses the task in two different ways: a) the synthesis of nanoparticles by the culture of magnetotactic bacteriaMagnetospirillum gryphiswaldense”, in this way it is possible to get magnetite nanoparticles with high structural and chemical quality and surrounded by a biocompatible lipid bilayer membrane and b) by electric explosion of wire, which leads to high amounts of magnetic nanoparticles.

Moreover, due to their potential use in magnetic memory and biomedical applications, in the last years the group has been also interested in the preparation and characterization of permalloy nanodisks in magnetic vortex states prepared by coloidal lithography.

MAGNETOACTIVE MATERIALS

Magnetoactive materials are those that actuate in the presence of an applied magnetic field. In this area, we specially pay attention to two sort of magnetoactive materials: ferromagnetic shape memory alloys (FSMA) and magnetostrictive materials, and magnetoelectric hybrid composites derived from them. FSMA are active materials that undergo large deformations (up to 10% for some NiMnGa alloys) under the effect of mechanical stress and magnetic field in very short times (a few milliseconds). They present also basic aspects that are attractive for a materials scientist, as the analysis of the magnetic moment (most are typical Heusler alloys) very sensitive to atomic order, multiple structural transitions (premartensitic, martensitic, intermartensitic), large magnetoresistance, etc.

THE TECHNIQUES CURRENTLY EMPLOYED BY THE GROUP INCLUDE:

  • Sputtering technique
  • Atomic/Magnetic Force Microscopy (AFM/MFM)
  • Magneto-optical Kerr effect Microscopy
  • Photolitography Laboratory
  • SQUID magnetometer (SGiker facility)
  • Vibrating Sample Magnetometer (SGiker facility)
  • Neutron Techniques (Great European Instalation Facilities: ILL, ISIS)
  • Synchrotron Radiation Techniques (Great European Instalation Facilities: ESRF, Diamond)

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Research Equipment

  • The Group has equipment for preparation, characterization and integration of materials

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Research Projects

  • NoCoBiNa: Non-Conventional magnetic nanoparticles for Biomedical applications.(MAT2014-55049-C2-1-R)
  • FUNSAFE: Functional properties and non-equilibrium processes in shape memory alloys and related ferroic materials (MAT2014-56116-C4-R)
  • LUMIMAGNET-NANO: Multifunctional luminescent and magnetic nanoparticles for advanced biomedical applications (H2020-MSCA-IF-2014, proposal number: 658806)

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