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Materials

Chemistry in Pictures: Black sunburst

by Manny Morone
April 2, 2019

20190402lnp20-blacksun.jpg
Credit: Andrzej Danel

Andrzej Danel of the University of Agriculture in Krakow produced these spiky structures by placing a strong magnet under a 5 cm wide puddle of a ferrofluid. This ink black fluid consists of nanosized particles of iron and iron oxides floating inside a carrier solvent with a significant portion of a surfactant, like an oil. Molecules of the surfactant surround the iron-containing particles and keep the particles from clumping up into a solid mound as they get magnetized. The particles can move around in the solvent in response to the magnetic field, resulting in the 3-D structures like these spikes. Danel and his colleagues use this ferrofluid demo and others to spark children’s interest in science.

Submitted by Andrzej Danel

Do science. Take pictures. Win money. Enter our photo contest here.

Related C&EN Content:

Ferrofluid-based art: “Millefiori”

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Metal Nanoparticles Can Be Used As Universal Probe For Many Imaging Methods.

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