The fractionation of nanoparticles is still a technical challenge, only limited solutions have been found so far. A continuous process for size classification of nanoparticles appeared to be extremely complex and expensive. Methods with specific particle size requirements, such as targeted drug delivery therapies, magnetic hyperthermia or radiological imaging, are therefore difficult to implement for economic reasons. Efficient separation methods are also sought for the purification and fractionation of rare earth metals, which are very interesting from a technical and economic perspective. Accordingly, for various particles < 1 μm, there is no method that allows multidimensional and continuous separation with narrow separation limits.
In this project, we aim to establish a novel magnetic chromatography method. Using magnetizable chromatography matrices, diverse nanoparticles will be magnetically addressed and thus separated multidimensionally. Furthermore, we transfer this concept to a so-called simulated moving bed (SMB) chromatography system, which enables continuous process operation. In this way, large space-time yields can be generated, while ecological aspects are considered simultaneously through a more efficient use of the separation space and by lower eluent consumption.
Bachelor's and Master's theses can be assigned depending on focus of interest. Topics range from the establishment and investigation of fractionation processes for rare earth oxide particles and other magnetic particle species to modeling/simulation of nanoparticle-matrix interactions. Constructional tasks can also be part of the work depending on individual interests.
The specific topic can be discussed in a personal meeting. Please contact me by e-mail (see above).
Figure 1: Laboratory construction of the multi-column system
Figure 2: Schematic representation of the fractionation process