Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Hariharan Srikanth, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Manh-Huong Phan, Ph.D.

Committee Member

George Nolas, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Garret Matthews, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Gerald Woods, Ph.D.


Magnetic Nanoparticles, Magnetic Hyperthermia, Chemical Synthesis


In this dissertation, I present the results of a systematic study on novel multifunctional nanostructure systems for magnetic hyperthermia applications. All the samples have been synthesized, structurally/magnetically characterized, and tested for magnetic hyperthermia treatment at the Functional Materials Laboratory of the University South Florida. This work includes studies on four different systems: (i) Core/shell Fe/γ-Fe2O3 nanoparticles; (ii) Spherical and cubic exchange coupled FeO/Fe3O4 nanoparticles; (iii) Fe3O4 nano-octopods with different sizes; (iv) High aspect ratio FeCo nanowires and Fe3O4 nanorods.

In particular, we demonstrated the enhancement of the heating efficiency of these nanostructures by creating monodisperse and highly crystalline nanoparticles, and tuning their magnetic properties, mainly their saturation magnetization (MS) and effective anisotropy, in controlled ways. In addition, we studied the influence of other parameters, such as the size and concentration of the nanoparticles, the magnitude of the applied AC magnetic field, or different media (agar vs. water), on the final heating efficiency of these nanoparticles.

For the core/shell Fe/γ-Fe2O3 nanoparticles, a modest heating efficiency has been obtained, resulting mainly from the strong reduction in MS caused by the shrinkage of the core with time. However, for sizes above 14 nm, the shrinkage process is much slower and the obtained heating efficiency is better than the one exhibited by conventional solid nanoparticles of the same size.

In the case of the exchange-coupled FeO/Fe3O4 nanoparticles, we successfully created two sets of comparable particles: spheres with 1.5 times larger MS than the cubes, and cubes with 1.5 times larger effective anisotropy than the spheres, while keeping the other parameters the same. Our results show that increasing the effective anisotropy of the nanoparticles gives rise to a greater heating efficiency than increasing their MS.

The Fe3O4 nano-octopods, with enhanced surface anisotropy, present better heating efficiency than their spherical and cubic nanoparticles, especially in the high field region, and we have shown that by tuning their size and the effective anisotropy, we can optimize their heating response to the applied AC magnetic field. For magnetic fields, smaller than 300−400 Oe we found that the smallest nano-octopods give the best heating efficiency. Yet if we increase the AC field value, the bigger octopods show an increased heating efficiency and become more effective.

Finally, the FeCo nanowires and Fe3O4 nanorods exhibit enhanced heating efficiency with increasing aspect ratio when aligned in the direction of the applied AC magnetic field, due to the combined effect of shape anisotropy and dipolar interactions. Of all the studied systems, these 1D high aspect ratio nanostructures have displayed the highest heating rates.

All of these findings point toward an important fact that tuning the structural and magnetic parameters in general, and the effective anisotropy in particular, of the nanoparticles is a very promising approach for improving the heating efficiency of magnetic nanostructures for enhanced hyperthermia.