Diamond Laboratory: A diamond for science
In January 2018, the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research inaugurated the new Diamond Laboratory thanks to the great support of the Walter and Sibylle Kalkhof-Rose Foundation.
In the new rooms of the Mainz Institute, a team headed by Prof. Tanja Weil purposefully produces nanometer-sized diamond particles. The task is to synthesize and functionalize these special nanodiamonds under high pressure and high temperature from carbon in the best possible way - with the aim of being able to use them in medicine for the diagnosis and therapy of cancer.
Sibylle Kalkhof-Rose took part personally in the inauguration and was enthusiastically explained by Tanja Weil and group leader Manfred Wagner.
The scientific work in the Kalkhof-Rose laboratory remains exciting: The diamond particles are coated, for example, with a biopolymer, which carries a cancer drug. These drug-nanodiamond hybrids can then be introduced into tumor tissue to make it visible to the physician while simultaneously attacking the cancer cells.
An innovative therapeutic approach that the Mainz researchers will continue to advance in the coming years.
Quantum Materials and Precision Sensing
Founded as one of the main branches of condensed matter physics, the development of quantum materials has been conventionally restricted towards strongly correlated electron systems. However, since the emergence of carbon materials i.e. graphene exhibiting the fractional quantum Hall effect, the discovery of forthcoming quantum technologies will no longer be limited to elements common to classical electronics. Rather, unconventional materials in novel three dimensional arrangements and aggregate states will most likely be integrated in a prospective quantum device. We focus our efforts on the synthesis of nanodiamonds (NDs) with substitutional defects that allow quantum enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (QMRI) based on their long nuclear spin relaxation times (hours) as well as polarization-enhanced MRI.
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