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Issue 42, 2009
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Colloidal transport on magnetic garnet films

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This article reports several recent discoveries related to the controlled transport of paramagnetic colloidal particles above magnetic garnet films. The garnet films are thin uniaxial ferromagnetic films in which ferromagnetic domains can be organized into symmetric patterns consisting of stripes or bubbles and generate strong local magnetic field gradients. Application of an external homogeneous magnetic field on a larger scale compared to the spatial periodicity of the magnetic pattern in the film modulates the potential generated at its surface and induces the controlled motion of colloidal particles placed above the film. Several novel dynamical regimes are observed and reported, from localized trajectories to direct particle transport, depending on the geometry of the underlying magnetic pattern and on the parameters, which control the external driving field, such as frequency, strength and direction. Moreover, we show that this strategy allows separation and sorting of bi-disperse particle systems based on the particle size as well as the transport of chemical or biological cargoes attached to the colloidal carriers. Controlled transport of micro-sized cargoes (chemical or biological) by colloidal particle carriers in a microfluidic environment can bring significant contributions in several fields from targeted drug delivery to the realization of precise fluid-based micro-scale devices.

Graphical abstract: Colloidal transport on magnetic garnet films

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The article was received on 27 May 2009, accepted on 31 Jul 2009 and first published on 25 Aug 2009

Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/B910427E
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2009,11, 9615-9625

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    Colloidal transport on magnetic garnet films

    P. Tierno, F. Sagués, T. H. Johansen and T. M. Fischer, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2009, 11, 9615
    DOI: 10.1039/B910427E

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