Magnetic memory supraparticles for perceptual matter (SmartRust)

Third party funded individual grant

Acronym: SmartRust

Start date : 01.05.2024

End date : 30.04.2029

Project details

Scientific Abstract

So far, materials are seen as passive items. This project aims at providing a solution that can turn objects into matter that can perceive and communicate trigger events. If materials are turned capable of reporting their encountered history, this will significantly contribute to i) ensuring product safety and reliability, ii) making predictive maintenance possible, iii) making complex recycling fates of materials transparent, and iv) enabling autonomous, robot-controlled, resilient manufacturing (Industry 4.0).

The key to realize this vision is to make use of smart magnetic particles, largely based on iron oxide (SmartRust). To achieve SmartRust, micron-sized (1-10 µm) supraparticles are composed of magnetic nano building blocks, the “signal transducers”, which are combined with other non-magnetic moieties, the “sensitizers”. A toolbox-like approach using spray-drying allows for nanoparticle assembly of a transducer and a sensitizer type of choice to specifically target a desired type of stimulus. The SmartRust particles are then integrated in materials` matrices.

It is hypothesized – and yet an open research question! - that there is an interplay of two magnetic interaction principles: on a hierarchical level I, a trigger event will alter the intra-supraparticle magnetic interactions of the nanoparticles within individual supraparticles. On a hierarchical level II, a trigger event will alter the inter-supraparticle magnetic interactions among the supraparticles when the matrix of the materials, where the supraparticles are embedded in, is altered.

The scientific idea is that this magnetic interaction information can be read out fast, easily, in a non-destructive way and from within a material, enabled by the technique magnetic particle spectroscopy (MPS).

If this endeavour is successful in obtaining a meaningful signal-structure-trigger correlation, ultimately, design rules could be deduced how to create conscious matter using SmartRust.


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