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  • Magnetic Materials Research Group

Magnetic Materials Research Group

Magnetic Materials Research at UCLan is led by Dr. Tim Mercer, a Senior Lecturer in Physics in the Jeremiah Horrocks Institute for Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy. The group is also a member of UCLan’s Centre for Materials Science.

Expertise and Subject Areas

Research in magnetic materials is currently focussed on two themes:

  • Multiferroic composite materials with interest in their magnetic properties, the Magneto-Electric effect, electrical excitation and the interactions between these aspects. These multifunctional materials are of high interest because of their potential applications in the continuing miniaturisation of technology.
  • Magnetic nanoparticles that have potential biomedical, decontamination and catalysis applications.

Publications and Outputs

T. Sen, S. J. Sheppard, T. Mercer, M. Eizadi-sharifabad, M. Mahmoudi and A. Elihissi “Simple one-pot fabrication of ultra-stable core-shell superparamagnetic nanoparticles for potential application in drug delivery” RSC Advances, 2 (2012) 5221

T. Sen, I.J Bruce and T. Mercer, “Fabrication of novel hierarchically ordered porous magnetic nanocomposites for bio-catalysis”, Chemical Communications, 46 (2010) 6807.

T. Mercer, P.R. Bissell and I. Tatarasanu, “Effects of structure on noise in very thin particulate data storage media”, Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, 316 (2007) 199.

T. Mercer, P.R. Bissell, P. Ardeleanu, L. Stoleriu and A. Stancu, “Effects of magnetic layer thickness and of head-to-medium spacing on noise in advanced particulate recording media”, Journal of Applied Physics, 93 (2003) 6334.

T. Mercer, P.R. Bissell and R.G. Gilson, “Measurement of hindered setting in magnetic dispersions”, IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, 38 (2002) 3219.

P. Ardeleanu, T. Mercer, P.R. Bissell, L. Stoleriu and A. Stancu, “Spatial effects in the DC modulation noise of advanced MP tape, IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, 38 (2002) 1904.

P.R. Bissell, T. Mercer, P. Ardeleanu, A. Stancu and L. Stoleriu, “Effects of magnetic layer thickness on noise in advanced double layer metal particle tape”, Journal of Applied Physics, 91 (2002) 6739.

D.A. Parker, G.E. Kay, P.R. Bissell and T. Mercer, “DC modulation noise in clustered particulate media”, Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, 242 (2002) 366.

S.M. McCann, P.R. Bissell, T. Onions and T. Mercer, “Remanent state noise measurements on magnetic recording media”, Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, 183 (1998) 220.

T. Mercer, P.R. Bissell, J.A. Gotaas and R.G. Gilson, “Effects of magnetic interactions on the stability of particulate dispersions”, Journal of Applied Physics, 85 (1999) 5555.

P.M. Sollis, P.R. Bissell, T. Mercer, J.A. Gotaas and R.G. Gilson, “Dispersion stability during the settling process”, Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, 177 (1998) 892.

T. Mercer, P.R. Bissell, J.A. Gotaas and R.G. Gilson, “Hindered settling of particulate dispersions”, Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, 193 (1999) 284.

T. Mercer, P.A.J. de Groot and P.N. Bartlett, “Production of perovskite-like ferromagnetic thin films by electrochemical reduction”, Journal of Applied Electrochemistry, 28 (1998) 485.

Events and News

Joint European Magnetics Symposium, Parma, Italy
July 2 2012

The Joint European Magnetics Symposium (JEMS 2012) will take place in Parma, Italy from 9th to 14th September.

This is the most important and comprehensive conference on magnetism in Europe, having previously taken place in Grenoble (2001), Dresden (2004), San Sebastian (2006), Dublin (2008) and Krakow (2010). The Symposia will focus on a broad range of topics embracing applicative and fundamental aspects of magnetism, as well as novel magnetic materials.

Abstract accepted for talk at MMM/Intermag
December 5 2012

Tim Mercer and Phil Bissell have had their abstract accepted as an oral presentation at the 12th Joint MMM/Intermag conference to be held in Chicago, Illinois between 14 and 18 January 2013.

Approximately every three to four years the two leading magnetics conferences (Magnetism & Magnetic Materials and the International Magnetics conferences) hold a joint meeting.

The talk entitled “The Observed Linearity and Detection Response of Magnetic Fluid Concentration Magnetometry – A Theoretical and Experimental Description” is due to be given in session HC on Friday 18th January.

Seminar by Dr Melvin Vopson
Dec14 2011

Centre for Material Sciences seminars by Dr Melvin Vopson from the National Physical Laboratory

When: Wed, 14 December 2011, 13:00 – 15:00
Where: Maudland Building Room 051

Description: Two talks:

  1. Non-contact IR Testing of Spintronic Materials and Devices
  2. Evidence of double magnetization relaxations: a route to ultrafast magnetization switching

Courses and Postgraduate Study

  • Foundation Entry Physics

Dr Tim Mercer is a physics lecturer within the School, teaching mainly on the Physics degree programme. He is currently the module leader for the first year physics laboratory and also teaches mathematics modules to engineering students.

Current modules:

AP1011: Introduction to Laboratory Physics

AP1840: Introduction to Physics – Waves & Optics

AP3215: Virtual Instrumentation

AP3031 Research Methods

MS1063 Engineering Analysis A

AP3950 B.Sc. (Hons) Final Year Physics Projects


Dr. Tim Mercer

Joe Smerdon

Emeritus Professor, Philip Bissell

Additional Information


MSc by Research: Effects on the magnetic properties of electrically activated multiferroic composites 

An exciting opportunity has arisen in collaboration with the UK’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in the field of multiferroic materials. These materials are excellent candidates for new technologies and applications as a result of their multiple cooperative properties (in terms of. magnetic, electric and elastic ordering).

Current investigations on the Magneto-Electric (ME) effect have tended to concentrate on magnetically induced coupling. In this project, it is intended to study the converse effect by means of specialist magnetic measurements carried out on composite multiferroics under electrical excitation. Whilst the bulk of the work will be carried out in the well-established Magnetic Materials Research Laboratories at UCLan, it is also intended that the successful candidate will be given the opportunity to carry out measurements at NPL.

Candidates would be expected to hold a good physics degree that has included an experimental final year project. Candidates with an appropriate physics-related or relevant engineering degree that should ideally include measurement/instrumentation experience will also be considered. The project is offered on a self-funded basis to both EU and International students. Successful outcomes from this project could potentially be used as a basis for extending the work into a PhD project.

For further information please contact Dr. Tim Mercer: +44(0)1772 893161

Related Research Groups

Centre for Materials Science