Transport of superparamagnetic beads through a two-dimensional potential energy landscape.


The nonlinear dynamic behavior of superparamagnetic beads transported through a two-dimensional potential energy landscape is explored empirically and through numerical simulation. The beads are driven through a periodic array of micromagnets by an external rotating field oriented at an angle θ relative to the magnetization direction of the substrate. The bead's motion was highly sensitive to the angle of the driving field near critical angles and to various system parameters, including bead size, rotation frequency, and substrate pole density. Our results suggest the possibility of using this behavior in a highly discriminative colloidal separation system, in which two different bead types can be tuned to move in orthogonal directions.