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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name



Physics and Astronomy

First Advisor

Ashis Mukhopadhyay


Active particles are a class of particles which take energy from their environment and convert that energy into mechanical work. The active particles that are from nanometers to micrometers in size and dissolved in fluid also experience thermally driven Brownian motion. This thesis was focused on design and implementation of electromagnetic assemblies for magnetic actuation of particles. Our setup enables easy switching between Helmholtz and Maxwell coil pairs, which can create uniform magnetic fields as well as magnetic field gradients. The feasibility was demonstrated by using super-paramagnetic 3 µm and 1 µm particles, which showed directed motion of individual particles and chain formation. The image acquisition for this experiment was done by using an existing laboratory microscope with some modifications. We verified that the force on the super-paramagnetic iron oxide (Fe3O4) doped microparticles varied as z-4, with z being the distance from the magnets to the sample. Future improvements to the setup could include increasing the strength of the field gradient and incorporating multiple coil assemblies configured in three axes. This would allow for control of single particles and particle clusters in three dimensions and within complex fluids.

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