Assembly of ordered magnetic microsphere arrays

Wanling Xu*, John Ketterson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We have developed a straightforward technique to assemble ordered arrays of magnetic microspheres on patterned thin Permalloy (Py) films deposited on the surface of a silicon wafer. Droplets containing micrometer-sized carboxyl paramagnetic microspheres are placed on a horizontally oriented wafer. The field produced by a permanent magnet placed under the wafer is rendered inhomogeneous by the patterned Py features and the resulting field gradients attract and hold the paramagnetic microspheres to these features. While the magnetic microspheres are being attracted to and secured on the pattered Permalloy features, a horizontal flow is created by a pipette, which also removes loose (unsecured) microspheres. By applying this technique to a cocktail of individually functionalized microspheres, a sensor could be realized, which will screen, in parallel, for a large number of targets per unit area. The ability to resolve individual microspheres is close to 100%. A desirable feature is that the substrate is reusable; removing the magnet allows an existing batch of microspheres, which may have lost sensitivity due to environmental exposure, to be flushed from the substrate and replaced with a new batch. The technique complements existing approaches in the field of microarrays widely used in immunoassay, DNA fragment detection, pathogen detection, and other applications in functional genomics and diagnostics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number044701
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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