Group of Applied Magnetism and Magnetic Nanostructures

Department of Material Physics
Institute of Applied Magnetism (MA)

The Institute of Applied Magnetism of the Complutense University of Madrid (IMA) has a large trajectory on research on magnetic materials and electromagnetism from a basic point of view to the technological transfer. The IMA was created in the late 80s, and since then, it became an international reference center for magnetic nanoparticles and composites, magnetic sensors, materials for electromagnetic shielding, permanent magnets without rare earths, materials for spintronics, in addition to the study of the brain through techniques of magnetoengalography.
Integrated by Professors of the Complutense Unversity of Madrid (UCM) and researchers from the Scientific Research Council (CSIC), the scientific work pivots around two main objectives: ta high quality research in materials and electromagnetic fields and ts the technological transfers to the international and national industries and private companies, achieving a high degree of self-financing.
The result of this work over last 30 years is reflected in more than 600 articles in JCR journals, about 40 doctoral theses, more than 70 research projects funded by national and international organizations, more than 100 projects with the industry and privates companies and about 40 patents obtained by group members.

The research group at the Institute of Applied Magnetism has 6 Permanent researchers, 2 posdocs and 6 PhD students and several undergraduate students. The lab is fully equipped with devices for synthesis and characterization of magnetic materials:
-1 SQUID magnetometer
-2 VSM magnetometers (with magnetoresistance, oven up to 1000 ºC and specific heat accesories)
-2 Cryostat for optic, transport and magnetotransport measurements
-Fully equipped magneto-optics lab, with Kerr magnetometry and imaging, Faraday device and 2 electromagnets.
-1 Thin films deposition chamber with 4 e-beam evaporators for alloys and multilayers.-Radiofrecuency device with antennas for emission, reception and spectroscopy.
-Synthesis lab
-2 Thermogravimetric balances.
-1 Hyperhtermia equipment-Several induction magnetometers
-Acces to the University facilities as XRD, TEM.
-Users of synchrotron radiation facilities.

The remotely activation of nanoheaters is based on the ability of some nanoparticles to generate heat under an electromagnetic field, and is one of the most promising therapy for cancer treatment.1 Plasmonic nanoparticles, like gold or quantum dot, or magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles are the current candidates for such thermo-therapy. Magnetic nanoparticles are able to release heat when subjected to radiofrequency fields,2 whereas plasmonic nanoparticles excited by infrared laser cause localized heatings.3 Both techniques, called magnetic hyperthermia and photothermia, leads to the destroy of cancer cells.
It has been recently reported that iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles can also release heat when excited by infrared laser, despite the absorbance of the iron oxides is markedly low at the infrared region.4 However, this new property of iron oxide nanoparticles opens the possibility to combine efficiently the photothermia with magnetic hyperthermia for cancer treatment.
In this project, the origin of the heating of iron oxide nanoparticles excited with infrared laser will be investigated in order to understand the physical origin of this mechanism. The investigation includes the study of different iron oxides, i.e, different composition (MFe2O4, with M = transition metal), size, and magnetization of the sample; and as a function of laser intensity and the type of irradiation (continuous or pulsed), as well.
1) Colombo et al., Chem. Soc. Rev 41, 4306 (2012)
2) de la Presa et al., J Phys Chem C 116, 25602 (2012)
3) Huang et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 128, 6, 2115 (2006)
4) Espinosa et al., Nanoscale, 2015, 7, 18872