Our research focus is magnetic materials ranging from the atomic scale via the nanometer to macroscopic length scales. Understanding the structure at all length scales of permanent magnets is paramount in the quest for designing more efficient permanent magnets without the use of scarce rare earth elements.
The magnetic properties of materials are governed by the crystallographic structure, the size and shape on the nanoscale and the microscopic orientation. Different synthetic strategies are applied in the preparation of the magnetic materials. Atomic and magnetic characterization is carried out using neutron and X-ray techniques, which provides the crystal structure and allows for the determination of the magnetic structure at the atomic level. Magnetic force microscopy reveals the magnetic properties of individual nanoparticles, while vibration sample magnometry is used for macroscopic investigations. To improve the magnetic performance, the structure on all length scales must be meticulously controlled from the crystal structure at sub-nanometer via morphology on the nanometer scale to microscopic particle alignment. This is challenging and requires profound knowledge and design of the magnetic materials to make smart nanomagnets with improved magnetic properties.
Our projects span broadly from fundamental research at the most advanced neutron and synchrotron facilities to collaboration with industrial partners, who can potentially use our magnets in new innovative products.