FY2012 Annual Report

Nanoparticles by Design Unit

Associate Professor Mukhles Sowwan



In FY2012, the focus was primarily on building the nanotechnology experimental infrastructure at OIST.  This included equipment installation and lab set-up, and hiring of our research team.  Installation of the group centrepiece, the Mantis nanoparticle deposition system, was completed in July 2012 in Lab 2.  Several hundred samples have been fabricated, for system characterization, fabrication of novel heterogeneous systems, and for provision to research partners and collaborators.  Several manuscripts and patents are already under preparation/submission.  We have also been closely involved with the specification, installation and start-up of several Physics Common Resource equipments, such as the X-Ray Diffractometer (XRD), X-ray Photoelectron Spectrocospy (XPS) system, and the Environmental Transmission Electron Microscope (ETEM).

1. Staff

  • Prof. Mukhles Sowwan, Associate Professor
  • Dr. Cathal Cassidy, Group Leader
  • Dr. Vidya Dhar Singh, Researcher
  • Dr. Murtaza Bohra, Researcher
  • Mr. Antony Galea, Researcher (from July 2012)
  • Dr. Panagiotis Grammatikopoulos, Researcher (from November 2012)
  • Dr. Jeong-Hwan Kim, Researcher (from October 2012)
  • Dr. Maria Benelmekki, Researcher (from November 2012)
  • Ms. Shiho Saito, Research Administrator (until December 2012)
  • Ms. Tomoko Kiriyama, Research Administrator (Sept 2012 - Feb 2013)
  • Ms. Yumi Takahashi, Research Administrator (from Feb 2013)

2. Collaborations

  • Nanoparticle deposition for Hydrogen Storage Applications
    • Type of collaboration: Joint research
    • Researchers:
      • Professor Tessui Nakagawa, University of the Ryukyus
      • Mr. Itsuki Miyazato, Student, University of the Ryukyus
  • Magnetic nanoparticle investigations
    • Type of collaboration: Joint research
    • Researchers:
      • Prof. Jean-François Bobo (CNRS, Toulouse, France)
  • 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 
  • 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)
  • Memory device and TFT enhancement using nanoparticle layers
    • ​Type of collaboration:  Joint research
    • Researchers
      • Prof. Noguchi, University of the Ryukyus
      • Prof. Okada, University of the Ryukyus
  • 3D tomographic reconstruction of nanoparticles
    • ​Type of collaboration:  Joint research
    • Researchers
      • Prof. Ulf Skoglund, OIST
  • Organic solar cell efficiency enhancement by inclusion of nanoparticles
    • Type of collaboration: Joint research
    • Researchers:
      • Prof. Yabing Qi (OIST)

3. Activities and Findings

3.1 Lab set-up activities

Installation of Nanoparticle deposition system & support equipment in Lab 2.  Support of installation of physics common resources (XRD, XPS, PPMS, ETEM).

Figure 1: Nanoparticle deposition system installed in Lab2 in 2012

3.2 Research Findings

Summary: 7 peer-reviewed journal manuscripts under preparation/submission/review.  2 patent applications, with several more under preparation.

Design and fabrication of high porosity thin films via nanoparticle coalescence

1 paper under preparation (Molecular Dynamics simulations of nanoparticle coalescence)

1 paper under preparation (Porosity and hydrophobicity control - experimental study of nanopouous Ta films)

Fig. 2:  AFM images of Ta NPs deposited for 20 min on silicon after: (a) in-situ vacuum chamber annealing at 400 degrees Celsius for 30 min, (b) vacuum annealing at 600 degrees Celsius for 30 min, and (c) air annealing at 600 degrees Celsius for 30 min (Singh et al., ICBB, Dec 2012)

Control of nanocluster crystallinity and microstructure via in flight decoration and structure modification

1 paper under preparation, 1 patent application filed

Fabrication & phase dynamics of diverse binary and ternary nanocluster alloys

2 papers under preparation.

Core-shell biocompatible Fe core/Silica shell nanoparticles

1 paper under preparation.

Exploration of charging efficiency and size selection of Si and Ag nanoclusters

One conference paper (accepted, MRS Spring 2013)

Fig. 3:  (A) Quadrupole mass spectra for different sputtering configurations (B) TEM micrographs of Ag-Ag nanoparticles.  Region 1 is nanocrystalline, region 2 is single crystalline.  Insets (a) - low magnification overview, showing distribution in nanoparticle sizes (b) FFT of Region 1 (c) FFT of Region 2.  (C. Cassidy et al., MRS Spring 2013).

Nanoparticle/surface interactions:  Experiments & simulations

1 patent submission filed

Nanoisland-polymers deposition 

1 paper under preparation (surface characterization via Grazing Incidence-Smal Angle X-ray Scattering (GI-SAXS)

1 paper under preparation (harvesting of Au nanoislands on polymer sheets)


4. Publications

4.1 Journals

  • Singh, V., Cassidy, C., Bohra, M., Galea, A., Hawash, Z. & Sowwan, M.  Surface Morphology of Films Grown by Size-selected Ta Namoparticles, in 2012 International Conference on Biomaterial and Bioengineering, Hong Kong (2012).

4.2 Books and other one-time publications

Nothing to report

4.3 Oral and Poster Presentations

  • Singh, V., Cassidy, C., Bohra, M., Galea, A., Hawash, Z. & Sowwan, M.  Surface Morphology of Films Grown by Size-selected Ta Namoparticles, in 2012 International Conference on Biomaterial and Bioengineering, Hong Kong (2012).
  • Cassidy, C., Singh, V., Galea, A., Bohra, M., Hawash, Z. & Sowwan, M.  Nanoparticle fabrication for enhancement of organic electronic device performance & functionality, OIST Seaside House (2012).

5. Intellectual Property Rights and Other Specific Achievements

  • Cassidy, C. & Sowwan, M.  Burrowing of Semiconductor Nanoclusters into Semiconductor Substrates, US Provisional Patent US patent (2013).
  • Singh, V., Cassidy, C. & Sowwan, M.  Novel Semiconductor Core/ Metallic Subshell Nanoparticles. Japan patent (2013).

6. Meetings and Events

6.1 Seminar

  • Date: April 23, 2012
  • Speaker: Prof. Kai Nordlund (University of Helsinki)
  • Title:  Cluster ion-surface interactions from meV to MeV energies

6.2 Seminar

  • Date: April 23, 2012
  • Speaker:  Dr. Flyura Djurabekova (University of Helsinki)
  • Title: Modification of nanocrystals by ion irradiation

6.3 Seminar

  • Date: May 23, 2012
  • Speaker:  Dr. Abhijit Chatterjee (Accelrys)
  • Title: Accelrys Enterprise Solution for Material Innovation

6.4 Seminar

  • Date:  September 25, 2012
  • Speaker:  Dr. Mark Ruemmeli (IFW, Dresden)
  • Title:  Engineering sp2 carbon nanostructures with electrons

6.5 Seminar

  • Date:  November 14, 2012
  • Speaker:  Dr. Alex Bright/Dr. Joerg Jinschek (FEI Company)
  • Title:  Introduction to the Titan S/TEM with some Potential Applications/ETEM for High Resolution Imaging in Gases

6.6 Seminar

  • Date: March 7, 2013
  • Speaker: Dr. Rosa Estela Diaz-Rivas (Brookhaven National Labs, New York)
  • Title:  Environmental Transmission Electron Microscopy:  Applications in Catalysis and Growth of Nanostructures

6.7 Seminar

  • Date: March 8, 2012
  • Speaker: Prof. Hermann Winick (SLAC)
  • Title:  Sesame - A 3rd Generation Synchrotron Light for the Middle East

6.8 Seminar

  • Date:  March 28, 2013
  • Speaker:  Dr. Harald Schneider (FWIH, Dresden)
  • Title:  Terahertz spectroscopy of zero- and two-dimensional semiconductors


7. Other

Nothing to report