Introducing Ferrocell Technology


The Ferrocell's methodology is based on transforming a black, opaque
liquid metal (ferrofluid) into a dispersed, transparent layer less than 50 microns thick.
This active layer is contained in a sealed and isolated environment.
In this state, the fluid behaves more like a gas than a liquid.

     

Looking through an un-activated cell
on a bright, sunny day                         
                       More Info Here

                               


     Apply light and magnetism to either surface. Polarization of the applied magnetic field
     will determine the "angle of incidence" light experiences as it exits the cell.
Using a permanent magnet is the easiest way to apply a polar field and see how a 
Ferrocell will change the path of light and appear as a holographic image to the viewer.
-
One component of the viewed image represents the Null Zone of the field in 3-D.
This is the lowest potential or Zero Point. Each point of light will follow a
path in relation to its relative position in space around the magnetic field.
Another component we see is the Neel or more generally, the Bloch Wall.
This appears as a perpendicular band through the center of the magnetic field.
-
These 'zones' can be twisted, bent, made thicker or thinner, joined or repelled,
added to or subtracted from by the polar influence of two or more magnetic fields. 
-
To make this event visible to the naked eye, a large surface area and strong magnetic fields are required.
Unlike most passive optical devices, a Ferrocell will exhibit the same results with polarized or non-polarized light.
-
There are other minor functions that happen in the cell, too. The layer of particles act like a filter for higher visible
frequencies (blue, violet) similar to the Christiansen Effect while enhancing lower frequencies (red, IR).
Light experiences Rayleigh & Mie Scattering, plus the Faraday Effect and other Magneto-optic phenomenon.

For more detailed information, see References

 

Examples of Light Absorption, Emission and Spin
created with a Ferrocell and magnetic field:

Ring of 15 RGB Led's under and around cell. 12.7mm cube magnet setting on glass. Each 'null zone' converges on the magnets poles (bottom and top). We see two bands from each Led as the zones extend to each pole.

1.2 Tesla magnet wrapped in black tape with small square of black tape on top (to reduce reflections).
Magnet pole is resting on rear side of Ferrocell and back-lit
with white halogen light. Front of cell shows light following
along the field's lowest potential or null zone. Lighter, wider arc over top of tape is a result of scattering in a perpendicular direction. See a motion demonstration of this effect below.

If you can't play this on your computer,
click here to watch on Youtube

Take a look at this movie and pause at 6 sec. This is a location where a red laser beam scatters around the lowest potential of a cube magnets field ('ring') and where the laser diverges into opposite directions ('wings'). These wings are actually an arc that extends 180 degrees away from below the cell surface. This projected arc grows exponentially larger as the distance from cell to screen increases. In effect, the cell functions as a magnetic lens.

By applying a magnetic field (or electromagnetic) in a predetermined polarization, the light may be manipulated. By inducing a 4-phase quadrupole electromagnetic field into the cells center, the arc can be continuously rotated in a 360 degree circle.
 

This is a 400x  image altered by using a green filter in
Photoshop.The nano-particles have assembled into
microscopic dual-helix's, oriented perpendicular to
the applied magnetic field. This region is where the 'ring'
emerges. A laser shining through these helix's scatter
into opposite directions forming 'wings'.
This condition of the particles moving into a lower energy
state is known as the Rosensweig Instability.
A paper parabola is placed on the output side of a Ferrocell
induced with two cylinder magnets and stimulated with a red laser.
It's obvious these 'wings' are diverged a full 180 degrees.
(look closely at the lower left and right frames).

Light emerges and diverges from the center of the cell with the
same diameter as the original laser beam.
A significant amount of the laser beam is lost in the Z-axis, but
can be modulated for extended modes of operation.
 
Electromagnetic 360 degree rotation using induced quadrupole field into cell.

Four 90 degree phase deflections will allow you to construct electromagnetically actuated
moving light displays, rotary optical switches, optical gates, helical scanners and more.


A Different type of Technology:

A Ferrocell does not function from single-potential electrostatics that rely
on substrate-based methods which impose limits of motion. A Ferrocell responds
to an induced magnetic field and is capable of scattering light with more

degrees of freedom than either MEMS* or FLCD** technology
can obtain.



Home

Experiments

Products

Support


* MEMS = Micro-Electrical-Mechanical System
** FLCD = Ferro-Liquid Crystal Display