FY2015 Annual Report

Nanoparticles by Design Unit

Associate Professor Mukhles Sowwan


FY2015 marked the conclusion of a first research cycle for NbD Unit, by the end of which NbD had established itself within the field of nanoparticle science. FY2015 was also a year of preparation for the NSCA workshop, organised by the NbD Unit, which eventually took place at the beginning of FY2016. The previous year's success of the MSNEEA led to many world-class researchers participating in NSCA; simultaneously, a number of publications in top-notch peer review journals such as ACS Nano, Chemistry of Materials, and Nanoscale, verified the recognisability of the Unit's work.

1. Staff

  •  Dr. Cathal Cassidy, Group Leader
  •  Dr. Vidya Dhar Singh, Postdoctoral Scholar
  •  Dr. Panagiotis Grammatikopoulos, Postdoctoral Scholar (Unit Leader as of March 2016)
  •  Dr. Jerome Vernieres, Postdoctoral Scholar
  •  Dr. Kengo Aranishi, Postdoctoral Scholar
  •  Dr. Sushant Kumar, Postdoctoral Scholar
  •  Dr. Soumen Giri, Postdoctoral Scholar
  •  Dr. Stephan Steinhauer, Postdoctoral Scholar
  •  Dr. Jean-Gabriel Mattei, Postdoctoral Scholar
  •  Mr. Philipp Muscher, Technician
  •  Mr. Theodore Pavloudis, Reserch Intern
  •  Ms. Sachie Yukawa, Research Intern
  •  Mr. Mohieldin Magdy Mahmoud Youssef, Rotation Student
  •  Mr. Pak Too Chan, Rotation Student
  •  Mr. Hsieh-Fu Tsai, Rotation Student
  •  Ms. Yumi Takahashi, Research Administrator

2. Collaborations

2.1 Theoretical Modeling of Nanocluster Growth, Coalescence and Structure

  • Type of collaboration: Joint research
  • Researchers:
    • ​Prof. Kai Nordlund, University of Helsinki, Finland
    • Dr. Flyura Djurabekova, University of Helsinki, Finland
    • Prof. Joseph Kioseoglou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

2.2 Nanoparticle Deposition for Hydrogen Storage Applications

  • Type of collaboration: Joint research
  • Researchers:
    • Prof. Bruce M. Clemens, Stanford University, USA
    • Prof. Chris Pursell, Trinity University, USA

2.3 Magnetic Nanoparticle Investigations

  • Type of collaboration: Joint research
  • Researchers:
    • Prof. Jean-François Bobo, CNRS, France

2.4 Gas Sensing Devices and Experiments

  • Type of collaboration: Joint research
  • Researchers:
    • Prof. Philippe Menini, LAAS-CNRS, France
    • Dr. Audrey Chapelle, LAAS-CNRS, France

3. Activities and Findings

3.1 The next generation of carbon monoxide nanosensors


Schematic representation of copper oxide nanowires integrated on a micro-hotplate. At the centre of the image, copper oxide nanowires are bridging the gap between neighbouring copper microstructures.

3.2 Pouring fire on fuels at the nanoscale


Electron Microscopy image depicting the Palladium-Magnesium Oxide core-shell combination. The white dots are Palladium nanoparticles. The slight haze around each nanoparticle is the porous magnesium oxide shell. The Palladium nanoparticles are not sintered together and maintain spaces between each another because of these shells. This maximizes their ability to react with chemicals.

3.3 Copper Oxide nanowire decorated with palladium nanoparticles


Palladium nanoparticles were deposited on the entire wafer in an evenly distributed fashion, as seen in the background.  They also attached on the surface of the copper oxide wire in the same evenly distributed manner, as seen in the foreground.

On the upper right is a top view of a single palladium nanoparticle photographed with a transmission electron microscope(TEM) which can only produce black and white images. The nanoparticle is made up of columns consisting of palladium atoms stacked on top of each other.

4. Publications

4.1 Journals

  1. Steinhauer, S., Singh, V., Cassidy, C., Gspan, C., Grogger, M. Sowwan, M., and Köck, A. Single CuO nanowires decorated with size-selected Pd nanoparticles for CO sensing in humid atmosphere Nanotechnology 26 (2015) 175502 (6pp). doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/26/17/175502
  2. Bohra, M., Grammatikopoulos, P., Diaz, R. E., Singh, V., Zhao, J., Bobo, J.-F., A. Kuronen, A., Djurabekova, F., Nordlund, K., and Sowwan M. Surface segregation in Cr-doped NiCr alloy nanoparticles and its effect on their magnetic behavior Chemistry of Materials  27 (2015) 3216-3225. doi: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.5b00837
  3. Singh, V., Cassidy, C., Pedersen, F. A., Kim, J-H, Aranishi, K., Kumar, S., Lal, C., Gspan, C., Grogger, W., and Sowwan, M., Engineering high-performance Pd core-MgO porous shell nanocatalysts via heterogenous gas-phase synthesis  Nanoscale 7 (2015) 13387-13392. doi: 10.1039/C5NR02663F
  4. Grammatikopoulos, P., and Pond R. C., Identifying the multiplicity of crystallographically equivalent variants generated by iterative phase transformations in Ti​ Acta Crystallographica B 72 (2016) 67-74. doi: 10.1107/S2052520615021897
  5. Bohra, M., Singh, V., Grammatikopoulos, P., Toulkeridou, E., Diaz, R. E., Bobo, J.-F., and Sowwan M., Control of surface segregation in bimetallic NiCr nanoalloys immersed in Ag matrix​
    Scientific Reports 6 (2016) 19153 (8pp)., doi:10.1038/srep19153
  6. Grammatikopoulos, P., Steinhauer, S., Vernieres, J., Singh, V., and Sowwan M., Nanoparticle design by gas-phase synthesis (Invited Review) Advances in Physics: X 1(1) (2016) 81-100., doi: 10.1080/23746149.2016.1142829
  7. Kumar, S., Singh, V., Cassidy, C., Pursell, C., Nivargi, C., Clemens, B., and Sowwan, M., Hydrogenation of Mg nanofilms catalyzed by size-selected Pd nanoparticles: Observation of localized MgH2 nanodomains Journal of Catalysis 337 (2016) 14-25,  doi:10.1016/j.jcat.2016.01.018
  8. Zhao, J., Baibuz, E., Vernieres, J., Grammatikopoulos, P., E. Jansson, E., Nagel, M., Steinhauer, S., Sowwan, M., Kuronen, A., Nordlund, K., and Djurabekova, F., Formation mechanism of Fe nanocubes by magnetron sputtering inert gas condensation ACS Nano 10(4) (2016) 4684-4694, doi: 10.1021/acsnano.6b01024
  9. Steinhauer, S., Chapelle, A., Menini, P., and Sowwan, M., Local CuO nanowire growth on microhotplates: in situ electrical measurements and gas sensing application ACS Sensors 1(5) (2016) 503-507. doi: 10.1021/acssensors.6b00042

4.2 Books and other one-time publications

Nothing to report

4.3 Oral and Poster Presentations

  1. Aranishi, K., Hydrogen Generation from Hydrolysis of Ammonia Borane Catalyzed byHeterogeneous Gas-Phase Synthesized Bimetallic Pt-Ni Nanoparticles, 250th American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition 2015, Boston, USA, Aug 16, 2015
  2. Kumar, S., Site-selective hydrogen absorption in Mg thin films using Palladium Nanoparticles, Gordon Research Conference (Hydrogen-Metal Systems), Boston, USA, July11-17, 2015
  3. Grammatikopoulos, P., A comprehensive theoretical and experimental study of both single and mixed metallic nanoparticle coalescence, 2015 MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit, Boston, USA, Dec 02, 2015
  4. Sowwan, M., Gas phase design and synthesis of nanoparticles for nanotechnology and biomedical applications, International Symposium on Functional Materials (ISFM2016), OIST, Okinawa, Jan 29, 2016
  5. Steinhauer, S., Environmental Transmission Electron Microscopy of Catalytic Pd Nanoparticles on CuO Nanowire Surfaces, The 3th International Symposium on Advanced Electron Microscopy for Catalysis, Berlin, Germany, Jan 08, 2016
  6. Vernieres, J., Morphological Control of Size-Selected Iron Nanoparticles During Formation Sans Post-Growth Filtration, EMN Bangkok 2015, Bangkok, Thailand, Nov 10, 2015

5. Intellectual Property Rights and Other Specific Achievements

Nothing to report

6. Meetings and Events

6.1 Lectures

Thermodynamics and Kinetics of Nanomaterials Synthesis by Prof. Bruce Clemens, Stanford Univeristy, USA

Lecture 1 - Thermodynamics Review, Bond Counting and the Regular Solution Model, Chemical Potential

  • Date: May 13, 2015
  • Venue: OIST Campus, Lab1

Lecture 2 - Surface Energies, the Gibbs-Thompson Effect, the Effect of Size on Vapor Pressure, Gibbs-Thompson Effect

  • Date: May 15, 2015
  • Venue: OIST Campus, Lab1

Lecture 3 - Chemical Potential as the Driving Force for Kinetic Processes, Interface Attachment and Diffusion

  • Date: May 20, 2015
  • Venue: OIST Campus, Lab1

Lecture 4 - Nanoparticle Formation from Solutions, Nucleation, Interface Attachment, Diffusion, Growth Model, Controlling Size Distribution

  • Date: May 27, 2015
  • Venue: OIST Campus, Lab1

Lecture 5 - Nanowire Synthesis via the Vapor Liquid Solid Mechanism, Diffusion and Interface Limited Growth

  • Date: June 3, 2015
  • Venue: OIST Campus, Lab1

6.2 Seminars

Title: Low-cost and versatile electrochemical approaches to enable precise structure and property control of porous nanomaterials for energy and environmental applications

  • Date: April 10, 2015
  • Venue: OIST Campus, Lab1
  • Speaker: Yang Yang Li, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Physics and Materials Science, City University of Hong Kong

Title: Single molecule spectroscopy using STM

  • Date: June 2nd, 2015
  • Venue: OIST Campus Center Building
  • Speaker: Prof. Maki Kawai, Department of Advanced Materials Science, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Japan

7. Other

Nothing to report.