Self-assembly and novel planetary motion of ferrofluid drops in a rotational magnetic field

Ching-Yao Chen*, Hao Chung Hsueh, Sheng Yan Wang, Yan Hom Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


We experimentally investigate the motion of a ferrodrop array in a rotating magnetic field. Magnetized and driven by the external field, the ferrodrops are stretched and self-aligned to form a drop array along the field orientation. An interesting planet-like dual rotation, including local self-spins of individual drops and a global revolution of the drop array, is newly identified. While the drops spin nearly synchronized with the external field, the revolution always lags behind the field and appears a forth and back movement. Prominence of the net revolutionary movement depends on the strength and uniformity of the overall field as well as the number of drops containing in the array. In general, more uniform and stronger rotating field leads to a more prominent global revolution. Phenomenon of such planetary motion can be applied to mix two fluids more effectively than self-spin drops.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)795-806
Number of pages12
JournalMicrofluidics and Nanofluidics
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 1 May 2015


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