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School of Physical and Chemical Sciences

Wangchao Yuan


Research Student

Room Number: Joseph Priestley Building, First floor


Project title: Preparation of Novel Nanoparticles and Magnetofluids

Supervisor: Dr. Cristina Giordano

Project description:  Magnetic particles are nowadays largely used in many different fields. Iron carbide (Fe3C) is still a largely unexplored magnetic material. Still, it is considered a promising alternative to currently used iron oxide-based magnetic particles thanks to its higher saturation magnetization and expected low toxicity. However, iron carbide is difficult to prepare, especially as nanoparticles, due to the high temperature requested for their synthesis. Therefore, it is difficult to control nanoparticle size and, so far, impossible to disperse them stably in any liquid media.

The present project focuses on designing a post-synthesis modification of metallic ceramic nanoparticles to attach selected functional groups to their surface toward the preparation of colloidal dispersions and magneto fluids, with a special focus on Fe3C nanoparticles. This project is conducted in different steps: 1) Preparation of pure Fe3C nanoparticles via a sol-gel-based procedure called urea-glass route (UGR), and study of the chemical composition of the nanoparticles’ surface. 2) Modification of nanoparticles’ surface by surface functionalization with selected functional groups (in a sort of “click” chemistry process). 3) Dispersion of the functionalized nanoparticles in suitable liquid media (depending on the nature of the attached functional group).



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