Controlling the self-assembly of magnetic nanoparticles by competing dipolar and isotropic particle interactions

Manuela Hod, Celin Dobbrow, Mukanth Vaidyanathan, Debanjan Guin, Lhoussaine Belkoura, Reinhard Strey, Moshe Gottlieb, Annette M. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Control over the self-assembly of magnetic nanoparticles (MNP) into superstructures due to different types of coupling is of interest in the development of "bottom-up" fabrication schemes. Here we realize a simple strategy for the systematic variation of particle interaction potential in magnetic nanoparticles. This is achieved by varying the effective surface potential by means of a co-surfactant introduced in the course of the synthesis process. As a consequence, the ability to form chain-like assemblies is affected by the resulting balance of attractive and repulsive forces. We use electron microscopy, electron diffraction, and light scattering methods to study a series of cobalt nanoparticles as a characteristic example of ferromagnetic MNP. We demonstrate experimentally and substantiate theoretically that the observed behavior results from a balance between magnetic dipole-dipole, steric, and electrostatic interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-89
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2014


  • Chain-like objects
  • Dipolar particle coupling
  • Ferromagnetic nanoparticles
  • Interaction potential
  • Magnetic super-structures
  • Nanoparticle self-assembly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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