The scientific objective of COMANA project is the design and study of complex magnetic nanoparticles composed of a metallic core and one or more shells of ferrimagnetic or antiferromagnetic metal. Understanding their behaviour will enable control of their magnetic properties (blocking temperature, anisotropy, exchange bias, spin quantum barrier height, etc.). The technological objective is to produce models of nanoparticles with properties optimised for (1) biomedical applications and (2) magnetic storage and logic processing devices. These applications are important to provide a 'focus' for the programme but the novel techniques we will use to make the nanomaterials and the theory developed to understand them is generic and can be applied to a wide range of new materials with special properties
During the project we will also develop a novel multi-scale theoretical approach that will model nanomagnetic systems all the way from the fundamental properties of the isolated nanoparticles through to the real behaviour of interacting MNP assemblies. The tools developed here will inform the synthesis of nanoparticles to display a very high-performance in their specific application.
An important component of the research is the experimental validation of the theoretical models. The expected outcomes of the project will be the development of experimentally tested theoretical models, which will predict conditions for the synthesis of materials with properties suitable for specific technological applications and will enable the interpretation of the mechanisms that are responsible for the observed behaviour of the materials. The experimental groups at Leicester and Demokritos will synthesise the magnetic nanoparticles and the nanoparticle assemblies and they will measure their magnetic behaviour.
We expect that with the combined theoretical/modelling and experimental effort it should be possible to develop new magnetic materials with a very high performance in specific devices and we will demonstrate this in the two proposed applications.