Colloidal transport on magnetic garnet films

Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2009 Nov 14;11(42):9615-25. doi: 10.1039/b910427e. Epub 2009 Aug 25.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Colloids*
  • Ferric Compounds / chemistry
  • Magnetics*
  • Particle Size


  • Colloids
  • Ferric Compounds
  • ferrite