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Brownian Dynamics Simulations of Magnetic Nanoparticles Captured in Strong Magnetic Field Gradients

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posted on 12.12.2016, 00:00 by Zhiyuan Zhao, Isaac Torres-Díaz, Camilo Vélez, David Arnold, Carlos Rinaldi
The behavior of spherical single-domain magnetic nanoparticles in strong inhomogeneous magnetic fields is investigated through Brownian dynamics simulations, taking into account magnetic dipole–dipole interactions, repulsive hard-core Yukawa potential, hydrodynamic particle-wall interactions, and the mechanism of magnetic dipole rotation in the presence of a magnetic field. The magnetic capture process of nanoparticles in prototypical magnetic field gradients generated by a sudden reversal in perpendicular magnetization of a flat substrate (defining a “capture line”) is studied as a function of strength of the magnetic field and volume fraction of the magnetic nanoparticles. Capture curves show a regime where capture follows a power law model and suggest that particles with the Brownian relaxation mechanism are captured at a slightly faster rate than particles with the Néel relaxation mechanism under similar conditions of the field gradient. Additionally, evaluation of the shape of the aggregates of captured particles suggests that greater dipole–dipole interactions result in aggregate structures that are flatter/wider than in the case of negligible dipole–dipole interactions. These results can help guide the design of systems for magnetically directed assembly of nanoparticles into complex shapes at a substrate.