Document Type

Conference Paper/Presentation

Publication Date



Shih-han Lo, Vinayak Dravid; Northwestern University


nanorods, magnetic fields, nano-stirbars, nanotechnology


Engineering | Nanoscience and Nanotechnology | Nanotechnology Fabrication


A remote system capable of controlling the motion of magnetic nanorods was created. Two different systems, electromagnets and magnetic stirrers, were used to create continuously changing magnetic fields thus applying a constant torque to make nanorods rotate as “nano stirbars”. The system was tested on three different types of synthesized nanorods: multi-segmented Ni/Au, pure Ni, and pure Au nanorods. Ni and Au were chosen due to the combination of the magnetic properties of Ni and the biocompatible properties of Au. Variables such as length, shape, and geometries of the nanorods were characterized by a scanning electron microscope and an atomic force microscope, and the composition of the nanorods was analyzed by Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy elemental analysis. The spinning motion of the nanorods was observed through an optical microscope. It was concluded that while geometric variables did not impact the spinning ability of the nanorods, the composition was critical, and the synthesized 50-50 Ni/Au nanorods had sufficient spinning force to perform as “nano-stirbars”. These experiments demonstrate a system capable of non-contact manipulation in solution at the nanoscale.


Illinois Junior Academy of Sciences Project Exposition Finalist; IJAS Region V Special Awards: Mu Alpha Theta Award and Yale Science and Engineering Association, Inc. (YSEA) Science Fair Award; Illinois Junior Academy of Sciences Paper Exposition Finalist; Midwest Research Competition: Positive Impact finalist



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