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Issue 9, 2015
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Stability and dynamics of magnetocapillary interactions

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Recent experiments have shown that floating ferromagnetic beads, under the influence of an oscillating background magnetic field, can move along a liquid–air interface in a sustained periodic locomotion [Lumay et al., Soft Matter, 2013, 9, 2420]. Dynamic activity arises from a periodically induced dipole–dipole repulsion between the beads acting in concert with capillary attraction. We investigate analytically and numerically the stability and dynamics of this magnetocapillary swimming, and explore other related topics including the steady and periodic equilibrium configurations of two and three beads, and bead collisions. The swimming speed and system stability depend on a dimensionless measure of the relative repulsive and attractive forces which we term the magnetocapillary number. An oscillatory magnetic field may stabilize an otherwise unstable collinear configuration, and striking behaviors are observed in fast transitions to and from locomotory states, offering insight into the behavior and self-assembly of interface-bound micro-particles.

Graphical abstract: Stability and dynamics of magnetocapillary interactions

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The article was received on 01 Oct 2014, accepted on 02 Jan 2015 and first published on 02 Jan 2015

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4SM02189D
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Citation: Soft Matter, 2015,11, 1828-1838
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    Stability and dynamics of magnetocapillary interactions

    R. Chinomona, J. Lajeunesse, W. H. Mitchell, Y. Yao and S. E. Spagnolie, Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 1828
    DOI: 10.1039/C4SM02189D

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