Sara Majetich’s research focuses on magnetic nanoparticles that have very uniform sizes. Her group studies their fundamental behavior, as well as possible applications in data storage media, permanent magnets, and biomedicine. One of the consequences of this monodispersity is that the particles can then self-assemble into arrays, just as atoms come together to form a crystal. She is investigating the collective behavior of the nanoparticle arrays that are analogous to those in crystals. Isolated iron atoms do not interact with each other and are paramagnetic, but in an iron crystal the interactions lead to ferromagnetism. Superparamagnetic-to-ferromagnetic and insulator-to-metal phase transitions are expected as the nanoparticles are brought closer together. She has also developed a method to replace the surfactant coating the particles with an inorganic matrix, and are exploring methods that exploit this approach to prepare functional nanocomposites.
1987 Ph.D., University of Georgia
1980 MA, University of Columbia