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Nanoparticles of ferrofluid

  1. Jul 16, 2014 #1

    I read that nanoparticles of ferrofluid are ferromagnetic, but they do not retain magnetization, so better is superparamagnetic. So, what is true? Is the particles ferromagnetic or paramagnetic? Why they don't retain magnetization?

    Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 16, 2014 #2

    Andy Resnick

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    The stuff I have (Ferrotec) is a colloidal dispersion of magnetite and is macroscopically paramagnetic, even though the magnetitie particles are ferromagnetic (ferrimagnetic? I don't know enough to say). In any case, the ferrofluid loses it's response when I freeze it.

    As best I can tell, the macroscopic paramagnetic behavior is a result of dispersing the ferro- or ferri-magnetic magnetite.
  4. Jul 16, 2014 #3
    Thank you very much. And I have one more question. If I drop magnet on ferrofluid, the magnet will wrap to ferrofluid. Is any method how can I it unwrap from ferrofluid?
  5. Jul 16, 2014 #4


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    It's best to keep a surface between a magnet and any magnetic particles, such as a piece of clear plastic. It is often impossible to get everything cleaned up.

    Following Andy's hint you could try freezing the magnet; this will not harm the magnet. Then let the magnet sit until it returns to room temperature, and clean it with your favorite solvent.
  6. Jul 16, 2014 #5
    Ok, so better is not try drop magnet to ferrofluid, yeah? :D

    Ferrofluid in magnetic field forms peaks. I read that it is the best variant to the lowest energy of magnetic energy and all system (but not for surface tension). So, it is nice, but I still don't understand to much. So, I think that you know about ferrofluid a lot, so I want to ask you: why the ferrofluid makes peaks? why the particles don't go near to magnet and stay there? it can be better for energy.
  7. Jul 16, 2014 #6


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    I worked in a group that was using ferrofluids as part of a carbon nanotube growth process. I'm only knowledgeable to the extent that it was interesting. The work was primarily experimental, so the theory of the ferrofluids was not discussed when I was paying attention.

    However, note that iron filings also form clumps with peaks ... so it is probably just the connection of one end to the next, with greater entropy and lower energy from the peaked distribution.

    Somebody may have written a paper about this ... try Google Scholar with a few carefully selected search terms!
  8. Jul 16, 2014 #7

    Andy Resnick

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    It's called the 'normal field instability":


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