FY2014 Annual Report

Nanoparticles by Design Unit

Associate Professor Mukhles Sowwan


In FY2014, the group maintained the momentum obtained during the previous years and started harvesting the first significant results in the form of publications in respected peer review journals. Simultaneously, emphasis was given in performing more sophisticated experiments and computer simulations, in order to fabricate nanoparticle structures with specific properties.

1. Staff

  •  Dr. Cathal Cassidy, Group Leader
  •  Dr. Rosa Diaz, Group Leader
  •  Dr. Vidya Dhar Singh, Researcher
  •  Dr. Panagiotis Grammatikopoulos, Researcher
  •  Dr. Jeong-Hwan Kim, Researcher
  •  Dr. Maria Benelmekki, Researcher
  •  Dr. Murtaza Bohra, Researcher
  •  Dr. Jerome Vernieres, Researcher
  •  Dr. Kengo Aranishi, Researcher
  •  Dr. Sushant Kumar, Researcher
  •  Dr. Stephan Steinhauer, JSPS Fellow
  •  Mr. Philipp Muscher, Research Intern
  •  Mr. Pak Too Chan, Rotation Student
  •  Mr. Andrew Winchester, Rotation Student
  •  Ms. Ruth Thompson, Rotation Student
  •  Mr. Hsieh-Fu Tsai, Rotation Student
  •  Ms. Yumi Takahashi, Research Administrator

2. Collaborations

  • Theme: Theoretical Modeling of Nanocluster Growth, Coalescence and Substrate Interaction
    • ​Type of collaboration:  Joint research
    • Researchers:
      • ​Prof. Kai Nordlund (University of Helsinki)
      • Dr. Flyura Djurabekova (University of Helsinki)
      • Prof. Joseph Kioseoglou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)
      • Prof. Hiromitsu Takaba (Kogakuin University)
  • Theme: Nanoparticle deposition for Hydrogen Storage Applications
    • Type of collaboration: Joint research
    • Researchers:
      • Prof. Tessui Nakagawa, University of the Ryukyus
      • Prof. Bruce M. Clemens, Stanford University
  • Theme: Magnetic Nanoparticle Investigations
    • Type of collaboration: Joint research
    • Researchers:
      • Prof. Jean-François Bobo (CNRS, Toulouse, France)
  • Theme: Microbial Fuel Cell Enhancement via Electrode Nanocluster Decoration
    • Type of collaboration:  Joint research
    • Researchers (OIST):
      • Prof. Igor Goryanin
      • Dr. Larisa Kiseleva
      • Dr. Slava Fedorovich
      • Mr. David Simpson

3. Activities and Findings

3.1 Simulating the Invisible



Figure 3.1. Coalescence-induced crystallisation of amorphous Palladium nanoparticles. (a) Final configurations after 100 ps molecular dynamics run of two amorphous nanoparticles coalescing at various temperatures. Emerging facets of specific crystallographic planes are denoted for the 300 and 1000 K configurations, which are enlarged at (b) and (c), respectively. Epitaxial atomic arrangement and formation of twinned crystallites is clear in both cases. (For clarity, temperatures are represented by shades of colours).


3.2 Scrolling on Demand



Figure 3.2. pH-responsive behavior of the nanosheets: (a−d) fully rolled nanosheets at pH 10, (e−h) partially unrolled nanosheets at pH 5, (i−l) unrolled flat nanosheets at pH 3. (a, e, i) Survey TEM showing rolled, partially unrolled, and fully unrolled nanosheets. The scrolls are linear with no fragmentation. Detail TEM showing controlled unrolling from (b) rolled, (f) to partially unrolled, and to (j) unrolled nanosheets. (c, g, k) AFM topography images, with the locations of the (d, h, i) associated cross-sectional height profiles indicated by green lines in the topographies.


3.3 OIST Patents New Nanoparticle Method



Figure. 3.3. The yellow areas in this image are Silver nanoclusters, which have monocrystalline structure and are used to induce crystallinity in an amorphous Silicon nanoparticle, the blue area. 


3.4 A Day in the Life of a Nanoparticle



Figure. 3.4. Palladium nanoparticles in hydrogen gas as visualized in the Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM). The panels show two nanoparticles merging together to form one. In the first panel (upper-left), you can clearly see dots in nanoparticle B. These are columns of individual atoms, demonstrating the extreme sensitivity and high resolution of this microscope. 

4. Publications

4.1 Journals​

  1. Kim, J.-H., Bohra, M., Singh, V., Cassidy, C., Sowwan, M. Smart Composite Nanosheets with Adaptive Optical Properties. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, doi: 10.1021/am5041708 (2014).
  2. Vernieres, J., Benelmekki, M., Kim, J.-H., Grammatikopoulos, P., Bobo, J.-F., Diaz, R. E., Sowwan, M. Single-Step Gas Phase Synthesis of Iron Aluminide Nanoparticles with Soft Magnetic Properties. APL Materials, doi: 10.1063/1.4901345 (2014).
  3. Bohra, M., Singh, V., Sowwan, M., Bobo, J. F., Chung, C.-J., Clemens, B. Influence of Packaging on the Surface Oxidation and Magnetic Properties of Cobalt Nanocrystals. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, doi: 10.1088/0022-3727/47/30/305002 (2014).
  4. Grammatikopoulos, P., Toulkeridou, E., Nordlund, K., Sowwan, M. Simple Analytical Model of Nanocluster Coalescence for Porous Thin Film Design. Modelling Simul Mater Sci Eng., doi: 10.1088/0965-0393/23/1/015008 (2014).
  5. Diaz, R. E., Bohra, M., Singh, V., Sowwan, M. In-situ Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy Annealing Studies of Ni1-x Crx Nanocluster and Correlation with Magnetic Properties. Microscopy and Microanalysis, doi: 10.1017/S1431927614010058 (2014).
  6. Grammatikopoulos, P., Cassidy, C., Singh, V., Sowwan, M. Coalescence-Induced Crystallisation Wave in Pd Nanoparticles. Scientific Reports, doi:10.1038/srep05779 (2014).
  7. Singh, V., Cassidy, C., Grammatikopoulos, P., Djurabekova, F., Nordlund, K., Sowwan, M. Heterogeneous Gas-phase Synthesis and Molecular Dynamics Modeling of Janus and Core-satellite Si-Ag Nanoparticles. Journal of Physical Chemistry C, doi:10.1021/jp500684y (2014).
  8. Cassidy, C., Kioseoglou, J., Singh, V., Grammatikopoulos, P., Sowwan, M. Endotaxially Stabilized B2-FeSi Nanodots in Si(100) via Ion Beam Co-Sputtering. Applied Physics Letters, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4872315 (2014).
  9. Singh, V., Grammatikopoulos, P., Cassidy, C., Benelmekki, M., Bohra, M., Hawash, Z., Baughman, K., Sowwan, M. Assembly of Tantalum Porous Films with Graded-Oxidation Profile with Size-Selected Nanoparticles. Journal of Nanoparticle Research, doi: 10.​1007/​s11051-014-2373-7 (2014).
  10. Zhao, J., Singh, V., Grammatikopoulos, P., Aranishi, K., Cassidy, C., Sowwan, M., Nordlund, K., Djurabekova, F. Crystallization of Silicon Nanoclusters with Inert Gas Temperature Control. Physical Review B, doi: 10.1103/PhysRevB.91.035419 (2015).
  11. Eguchi, H., Umemura, M., Kurotani, R., Fukumura, H., Sato, I., Kim, J.-H., Hoshino, Y., Lee, J., Amemiya, N., Sato, M., Hirata, K., Singh, D., Masuda, T., Yamamoto, M., Urano, T., Yoshida, K., Tanigaki, K., Yamamoto, M., Sato, M., Inoue, S., Aoki, I., Ishikawa, Y. A Magnetic Anti-Cancer Compound for Magnet-Guided Delivery and Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Scientific Reports, doi:10.1038/srep09194 (2015).
  12. Benelmekki, M., Vernieres, J., Kim, J.-H., Diaz, R. E., Grammatikopoulos, P., Sowwan, M. On the Formation of Ternary Metallic-Dielectric Multicore-Shell Nanoparticles. Mater. Chem. Phys., doi: 10.1016/j.matchemphys.2014.11.066 (2015).

4.2 Books and other one-time publications

Nothing to report 

4.3 Oral and Poster Presentations

  1. Aranishi, K., Introduction of OIST and a Study of Mg-Pd films and nanoparticles, The international Meeting on Advanced Material Science for Hydrogen (AMSH), University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan, 2014.08.26
  2. Grammatikopoulos, P., Analytical & Computational Modelling of PD NP Coalescence for Catalytic Applications, The Chemical Bond to the Chemical plant Computational and Materials Challenges in Gas Conversion Technologies, Bangalore, India, 2014.08.27
  3. Singh, V., Morphology and Hydrophobic Properties of Tantalum Nanocluster Films Grown by Plasma Gas-condensation Method, International Conference on Soft Materials (ICSM-2014), Jaipur, India, 2014.10.08
  4. Cassidy, C., Nanoparticle synthesis and electron microscopy at OIST, International Conference on Soft Materials (ICSM-2014), Jaipur, India, 2014.10.09
  5. Cassidy, C., Nanoparticle synthesis by gas-aggregated sputtering, AVS 61st International Symposium and Exhibition, Baltimore, USA, 2014.11.10
  6. Sowwan, M., Nanoparticles by Design for Nanotechnology and Biomedical Applications, The 2014 International Symposium on Supramolecular Chemistry and Functinal materials (2014CEM Supra), Tsumagoi, Gumna Japan, 2014.12.14
  7. Aranishi, K., A Preliminary Study of Sputtered Pt-Ni Nanoparticles for Hydrolysis of Ammonia Borane, The 2014 International Symposium on Supramolecular Chemistry and Functinal Materials (2014 CEM Supra), Tsumagoi, Gunma, Japan, 2014.12.14
  8. Grammatikopoulos, P., Atomistic Modelling of Nanoparticle Coalescence for Catalytic Applications, MSNEEA 2015, Okinawa, Japan, 2015.02.10
  9. Sowwan, M., Nanoparticles by Design for Nanotechnology Applications, MSNEEA 2015, Okinawa, Japan, 2015.02.11

5. Intellectual Property Rights and Other Specific Achievements

5.1 Patent

Title: Metal Induced Nanorystallization of Amorphous Semiconductor Quantum Dots 
Filing date: 2014-03-07 (PCT); Application No.: PCT/JP2014/001293; Publication No.: WO2014141662A1 
Publication date: 2014-09-18; Inventors: Singh, V., Cassidy, C., and Sowwan, M.
Content: A method of forming crystallized semiconductor particles includes: forming amorphous semiconductor particles in a vacuumed aggregation chamber; transporting the amorphous semiconductor particles formed in the vacuumed aggregation chamber to a vacuumed deposition chamber within which a substrate is held; and applying a vapor of a metal catalyst to the amorphous semiconductor particles while still in transit to the substrate in the vacuumed deposition chamber to induce crystallization of at least portion of the amorphous semiconductor particles via the metal catalyst in the transit, thereby depositing the crystallized semiconductor particles with the metal catalyst attached thereto onto the substrate.

6. Meetings and Events

6.1 Mini Symposium on Nanocatalysis for Energy and Environmental Applications - MSNEEA 2015

  • Date: Feb. 10- Feb. 12, 2015
  • Venue: OIST Main Campus 
  • Speakers: 
    • Prof.. Ted Oyama (University of Tokyo)
    • Prof. Sami El-Shall (Virginia Commanwealth University)
    • Dr. Panagiotis Grammatikopoulos (OIST)
    • Prof. Beatriz Roldán Cuenya (Ruhr-University Bochum)
    • Prof. Hiromitsu Takaba (Kougakuin University)
    • Prof. Xinhe Bao (Chinese Academy of Sciences)
    • Prof. Graham Hutchings (Cardiff University)
    • Prof. Riccardo Ferrando (Università di Genova)
    • Prof. Mukhles, Sowwan (OIST)

6.2 Seminar

  • Title: Applications of Graphene in Heterogeneous Catalysis,Quantum Dots and Silicon-Graphene Nanocomposites
    • Date: May 21, 2014
    • Venue: OIST Campus Lab1
    • Speaker: Prof. M. Samy El-Shall (Department of Chemistry, Virginia Commonwealth University)
  • Title: Multilevel Approach in simulations of Many-Body Systems with Inverse Power Interactions
    • Date: June 10, 2014
    • Venue: OIST Campus Lab1
    • Speaker: Prof. Suwan Iyad, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Arab American University, Palestine.
  • Title: Aqua Materials
    • Date: June 16, 2014
    • Venue: OIST Campus Center Building
    • Speaker: Prof. Tokuzo Aida, (Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo)
  • Title: Concepts in Heterogeneous Catalysis -Application in the Syngas to Methanol Conversion
    • Date: October 2, 2014
    • Venue: OIST Campus Lab1
    • Speaker: Dr. Frank Abild-Pedersen (SUNCAT SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)
  • Title: Drug Delivery and Ultrasound
    • Date: October 10, 2014
    • Venue: OIST Campus Lab1
    • Speaker: Dr. Ghaleb Husseini (American University of Sharjah)
  • Title: Correlative microscopy for in-situ characterization of catalyst nanoparticles under reactive environments
    • Date: November 20, 2014
    • Venue: OIST Campus Lab1
    • Speaker: Dr. Renu Sharma (Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD)
  • Title: Exploring the structure-property relation of metallic nanoparticles at the atomic scale
    • Date: December 5, 2014
    • Venue: OIST Campus Lab1
    • Speaker: Dr. Bernd Rellinghaus (IFW Dresden, Institute for Metallic Materials)
  • Title: Synthesis, applications and commercialization of nanomaterial-based sensor devices
    • Date: February 2, 2010
    • Venue: OIST Campus Lab1
    • Speaker: Prof. Robert Pollard (Queen's University Belfast, UK)
  • Title: Micro-Nano Engineered Functional Materials for Biomedical and Energy Application
    • Date: February 16, 2015
    • Venue: OIST Campus Lab1
    • Speaker: Dr. Marshal, Dhayal (CSIR- Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Uppal Road, Hyderabad, India)
  • Title: A new research institute in Okinawa
    • Date: June 19, 2014
    • Venue:  Kogakuin Daigaku Tokyo Japan
    • Speaker: Dr. C. Cassidy (OIST)
  • Title: Nanoparticle synthesis and electron microscopy at OIST
    • Date: October 10, 2014
    • Venue:  University of Rajasthan
    • Speaker: Dr. C. Cassidy (OIST)
  • Title: In situ nanoparticle and nanowire studies
    • Date: Mar 02, 2015
    • Venue: FEI VIP Meeting, Shanghai, China
    • Speaker: Dr. C. Cassidy (OIST)
  • Title: Atomistic Modelling of NP Coalescence for Catalytic Applications
    • Date: Feb 10, 2015
    • Venue: OIST, Okinawa
    • Speaker: Dr. P. Grammatikopoulos (OIST)
  • Title: Computer Simulations of Nanoparticle Growth and Coalescence
    • Date: June 06, 2014
    • Venue: OIST, Okinawa
    • Speaker: Dr. P. Grammatikopoulos (OIST)
  • Title: Materials at the Nanoscale: Growth, Properties and Applications
    • Date: Oct 16, 2014
    • Venue:  Aristotle University Thessaloniki, Greece
    • Speaker: Dr. P. Grammatikopoulos (OIST)

7. Other

Nothing to report.