Microfluidics and Nanofluidics

, Volume 18, Issue 5–6, pp 795–806 | Cite as

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

  • Ching-Yao ChenEmail author
  • Hao-Chung Hsueh
  • Sheng-Yan Wang
  • Yan-Hom Li
Research Paper


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.


External Field Weber Number Field Configuration Point Dipole Planetary Motion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The research is supported by the National Science Council of Republic of China (Taiwan) through Grant NSC 102-2221-E-009-051-MY3. Experimental assistances by Mr. Chia-Wei Hong are also acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ching-Yao Chen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hao-Chung Hsueh
    • 1
  • Sheng-Yan Wang
    • 1
  • Yan-Hom Li
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringNational Chiao Tung UniversityHsinchuTaiwan, ROC
  2. 2.Department of Mechatronics, Energy and Aerospace EngineeringNational Defense UniversityTaoyuanTaiwan, ROC

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