Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have managed to print magnetic fluids in 3D, which could lead to a series of new devices that could form the basis for researchers to control artificial cells or micro-robots by applying external magnetic fields, opening up new avenues for electronic devices and robots.
Magnets are an important part of most electronic products, but they appear in a stable form, which limits their functional range. However, Tom Russell, a visiting professor at Berkeley Laboratory and professor of polymer science and engineering at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and his laboratory partners made it clear that this was not the case. Over the past seven years, they have been working on the "Adaptive Interface Assembly Liquid Structure" project, focusing on the development of a new 3D printable all-liquid structure. This magnetic fluid represents a new method of programming magnets at the material level using "ferromagnetic fluid".
Russell said: We have created a new material with both liquid and magnetic properties, which opens the door to a new field of magnetic soft matter science.
MANUFACTURING MAGNETS WITH LIQUID
Russell and Liu Xubo (a postgraduate researcher at the Department of Materials Science, Berkeley Laboratory, and a doctoral student at Beijing University of Chemical Industry) put forward an idea to form a liquid structure from ferromagnetic fluids. Ferromagnetic fluid is a solution of iron oxide particles with strong magnetism, but it can be formed only in the presence of another magnet. Russell said: We want to know, if ferromagnetic fluid can be temporarily magnetic, how can it be permanent magnetic, and behave like a solid magnet, but still look and feel like a liquid?
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