Microscale magnetic compasses have been synthesized with high yield. These ferromagnetic iron carbide nano-particles, which are encapsulated in a pair of parallel carbon needles, change their orientation in response to an external magnetic field. Electron holography reveals magnetic fields confined to the vicinity of the bicone-shaped particles, which are composed of only a few ferromagnetic domains. Aligned magnetically and encapsulated in an acrylate polymer matrix, these micro-compasses exhibit anisotropic bulk magnetic permeability with an easy axis normal to the needle direction that can be understood as a result of the anisotropic demagnetizing field of a non-spherical single-domain particle. This novel type of material with orthogonal magnetic and structural axes could be highly useful as magnetic components in electromagnetic wave absorbent materials and magnetorheological fluids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number094301
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 7 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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    Shiozawa, H., Zhang, D., Eisterer, M., Ayala, P., Pichler, T., McCartney, M., & Smith, D. (2017). Microscale magnetic compasses. Journal of Applied Physics, 122(9), [094301]. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4985838