Manipulation of magnetic nanorod clusters in liquid by non-uniform alternating magnetic fields
It is discovered that a non-uniform alternating magnetic field can induce a translational motion of an anisotropic magnetic particle or cluster near a surface. Unlike a permanent magnet pulling a magnetic particle, the particle moves away from the magnetic source with a periodic fluctuation in its trajectory that varies with a frequency that is twice that of the field frequency. The moving speed can be tuned by varying the magnetic field strength and gradient, its alternating frequency, and the particle size. A hydrodynamic model is developed that can qualitatively explain all of the phenomena observed. Such a simple particle manipulation method has a great potential in applications such as cell biology and microfluidics.