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Magnetic metal carbides and nitrides as alternative materials for biomedical application

Research background and project description

Research in our group focuses on the synthesis of nanosized metallic ceramics, either as pure phase or alloy, but also in combination with metals and active supports toward the preparation of multifunctional materials for targeted applications. As their name suggests, Metallic Ceramics possess an intriguing combination of properties that place them between classical ceramics and pure metals, thus, the number of envisaged applications is very broad and even broader going to the nanoscale.

Some metallic ceramics possess magnetic properties. Fe3C for instance shows saturation magnetization higher than iron oxide, still possessing lower toxicity than pure iron. Iron carbide based materials are then consider a valid alternative to iron oxide and iron in biomedical applications. The project “Magnetic metal carbides and nitrides as alternative materials for biomedical application” will focuses on the synthesis of magnetic nanoparticles suitable for bio-related applications, mainly for drug delivering, for medical imaging and as contrast agent in MRI.

Research details

Both this and Dr Giordano's related PhD project will cover all the fundamental aspects of research in nanotechnology, ranging from the design of the materials, their synthesis and characterization, till applications. Within the research project, the PhD candidate will obtain and/or strengthen skills on preparation of novel nanosized materials and related characterization techniques (classical and advanced), e.g. X-rays diffraction (XRD), transmission and scanning electron microscopy (TEM and SEM), NMR, EPR, FT-IR and UV-vis spectroscopy.

About the group

Dr Giordano’s group has a long-lasting experience in designing tailored strategies for the synthesis of nanoparticles, advanced nanomaterials and hierarchical structures (for more info see Dr Cristina Giordano's profile page).

Furthermore, the group is part of the QMUL's Material Research Institute, which represent the ideal platform for dedicated studies on advanced materials, both in terms of equipment and research expertise.

The project will be then developed in a multidisciplinary environment and will also be partly accomplished in collaboration with established international research groups.

The candidates will apply with Dr Giordano’s support to the Chinese Scholarship Council program, which, in case of success, will cover fees and stipend up to 48 months.

To apply, please email Dr Giordano your motivation letter describing your interest in performing this project in our research group and your complete CV, including two reference names.

Early applications are strongly encouraged!

Selected publications

  • Giordano C., Antonietti M., “Synthesis of Crystalline Metal nitride and Metal carbide Nanostructures by Sol-Gel Chemistry”, Nano Today, 6, 366, 2011
  • Gupta S., Giordano C., Gradzielski M., Mehta K, “Microwave-Assisted Synthesis of Small Ru Nanoparticles and Their role in Degradation of Congo Red”, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 411, 173-181, 2013
  • Liu X., Giordano C., Antonietti M, “A molten-salt route for synthesis of Si and Ge nanoparticles: chemical reduction of oxides by electrons solvated in salt melt”, Journal of Materials Chemistry, 22, 12, 5454-5459, 2012
  • Giordano C., Kraupner A., Wimbush C.S., Antonietti M., “Iron Carbide: An Ancient Advanced Material”, Small, 6, 1859, 2010
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