Our group concentrates on both experimental and ab initio
theoretical aspects of low dimensional structures.
Ordered/Disordered hierarchial assemblies
In one side, we try to understand the various assembly processes of magnetic nanoparticles in order to develop their ordered secondary nanostructures with enhanced functionalities. At the same time, revealing the structural complexities of such secondary nanostructures using advanced scattering techniques along with usual microscopic techniques is an important aspect of our research. Structure-properties co-relation of developed nanostructures is being investigated based on the detailed magnetic measurements on varieties of structurally independent systems achieved through variation of all the possible structure tunable parameters. We also try to understand the interesting colossal phenomena of magnetism at nano/meso scale and how these are modified through variation in the texturing of nano-building blocks in the assembly systems. The advanced functionalities of so-developed systems are explored in terms of different potential applications ranging from water purification to bio-medical applications.
Molecular imaging probes
Another interesting aspect of our experimental research domain is the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) which is a widely used medical imaging technique used to visualize internal structures of the body in detail. A major drawback of MRI is the lack of inherent contrast which employs the use of imaging agents known as MRI Contrast Agents. From the physical point of view, there are two major families of CAs classified according to the relaxation process-T1-CAs (paramagnetic) and T2-CAs (superparamagnetic). Inorganic nanoparticles have been identified by researchers as potential probes to be used as MRI CAs long back. However, conventional single mode MRI contrast agents encounter several ambiguities. Therefore, in our lab, we are focusing on development of novel Dual mode (both T1 and T2), fluorescent and T2 MRI contrast agents to address this hurdle.
Electronic and magnetic properties of 2D materials
We use quantum mechanical approaches to understand the properties of 2D materials, molecules and nanostructures. By understanding the quantum mechanical behaviour of complex systems containing large numbers of electrons and nuclei, we are gaining an understanding of their structure, energetics and dynamics and also how their properties can be improved for use in fields as diverse as electronics, nanotechnology, biomedical etc. Density Functional Theory (DFT) is one of the technology used by us in this regard. Traditional approaches to DFT are capable of describing periodic crystals and small molecules, with a high accuracy. The computational approaches based on single-particle orbitals must be scaled up as the cube of the system size for large numbers of atoms. We are using the codes based on Linear-Scaling approach to DFT.