Magnetite, Fe3O4, is a naturally occurring iron oxide, with the highest saturation magnetization found in nature. Next to the magnetic properties, magnetite has excellent mechanical properties. Its magnetic properties depend on crystal size and shape. In nature, the formation of magnetite is precisely regulated, even at ambient and aqueous conditions, as controlled size and shape crystals are specifically tuned depending on the biological function. Achieving a similar control over crystal size and shape thus far has been challenging in synthetic procedures. Finding inspiration from nature, we are using a bio-inspired approach to template magnetite growth, to precisely tune the size and shape of the magnetite crystal.
Magnetite is a fascinating biomineral. By templating its formation into diverse crystal arrays, we are aiming for novel materials with outstanding magnetic properties.
Bernette Oosterlaken is a PhD-student at the Laboratory of Materials and Interface Chemistry. She was born in ‘s Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands. After receiving her BSc degree in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, she obtained her MSc degree in the Molecular Systems and Materials Chemistry track at Eindhoven University of Technology. During her graduation project supervised by Prof. Dr. Rint Sijbesma, she worked on covalent fixation in self-assembled diacetylene tri-block copolymer rodlike micelles. In February 2017, she joined the Laboratory of Materials and Interface Chemistry as a PhD-student and is now working on magnetite in bio-inspired hybrid materials.
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