Field-directed and Template-assisted Magnetic Nanoparticle Self-assembly

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The interest in field-directed assembly of colloidal magnetic nanoparticles has grown steadily in recent years due to a proliferation of applications including targeted drug therapy, biomedical imaging, among others. Such self-assembly holds promise as a low-cost and scalable approach for the fabrication of novel nanostructured materials with extraordinary magnetic, electrical and photonic properties. In this presentation, we show that the controlled self-assembly of magnetic nanoparticles into three-dimensional nanoscale patterns can be achieved using soft-magnetic microstructure templates. We demonstrate proof-of-principle using a computational model that predicts the assembly of the particles in the presence of high-gradient magnetic fields. We consider a prototype material concept wherein the field is produced by soft-magnetic ring like microstructures embedded in a substrate. At low concentrations, the particles form a single layer ring with even spacing between neighboring particles due to a repulsive dipole-dipole force. We also show 3D multilayer assemblies can be formed by increasing the particle concentration. We discuss various aspects of template-assisted assembly including the effects of particle size, volume fraction and the rational design of the template structure to achieve a required field gradient.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 2, Nanotechnology 2014: MEMS, Fluidics, Bio Systems, Medical, Computational & Photonics
Published: June 15, 2014
Pages: 105 - 108
Industry sectors: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing | Sensors, MEMS, Electronics
Topics: Inkjet Design, Materials & Fabrication
ISBN: 978-1-4822-5827-1