My main research interest is the investigation of magnetic properties of iron oxides, both from geological and laboratory prepared materials. These properties are of fundamental importance in many different areas of study and problems, and I am currently involved with:
- The investigation of magnetism of synthetic iron oxides particles, which allows me to explore fundamental problems in magnetic materials, such as magnetic nanoparticles interactions. This problem also has applications in medicine, where the iron oxide nanoparticles are used in studies of MRI contrast agents, drug delivery and hyperthermia.
- The study of the connection between iron oxides particles and climate change (for example, particle deposition in snowpack and early melting) and the investigation of the fate of heavy metals and pollution associated with iron oxide phases, important problems in environmental magnetism.
- The investigation of the magnetic carriers that record the geomagnetic field on rocks (for example, the magnetism of Mesozoic swarm dikes from Parana Basin), with the goal of better understanding the behavior of Earth's magnetic field in the past.
- The study of the magnetic properties of Mars' surface, which is related to the reddish iron oxide hematite and another iron phase (e-Fe2O3) not found on Earth's surface. In this challenging problem we try to reproduce such iron phases in the lab and analyze its magnetic properties.
In my investigations, besides the use of magnetic techniques, it is also essential to use non-magnetic techniques such as Mössbauer spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy.
Since the problems I am interested in are intrinsically multidisciplinary, I interact with research groups involving chemists, biologists and geologists (and other physicists, of course) from several US universities and also from Europe and South America.