Introducing Ferrocell Technology
The Ferrocell's methodology is based on transforming a black, opaque
liquid metal (ferrofluid) into a dispersed, transparent layer less than 15 microns thick.
This layer is contained in a sealed and isolated environment.
In this state, the fluid behaves more like a gas than a liquid (see References).
Small incandescent lamp below Ferrocell
with cylinder magnet centered on cell.
A multitude of magneto-optical effects are present
Apply light and magnetism into either glass 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,
but electromagnets will work, too.
Apply side or rear lighting and a field to see how a Ferrocell will change the path of light
and also appear as a holographic image to the viewer.
The center point between poles of the viewed image represents the Null Zone or more
generally, the Bloch Wall. The 'lines' we see using a cell can best be described as
potential and not field lines like iron filings or FEMM software show.
Each point of light will create a path in relation to its position in space and
minimum potential of the magnetic field. What we see will change its
3-D geometric shape depending on our point of view in direct relation to
the light source and orientation of the applied field.
These 'paths' 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 or one magnet and a nearby ferrous metal. A few other materials will
react depending on their magnetic properties, but with a weak display.
To make this event visible to the naked eye, a large surface area is required.
These effects can also be seen using microscopy, which does not require a
large surface. Unlike most passive optical devices, a Ferrocell will exhibit the
same results with polarized or non-polarized light.
The Ferrocell is a convenient tool for exploring optics, magnetics
and nanotechnology without the mess, cost or build-time.
Light experiences Bi-refringence, Rayleigh & Mie Scattering, the Kerr Effect,
the Faraday Effect and other Magneto-optic phenomenon in the
transmission mode using a Ferrocell with an applied magnetic field.
For more detailed information, see the References page.
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 cube 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 ('rays'). These rays are actually an arc that extends 180 degrees away from the cell surface. This projected arc grows exponentially larger as the distance from cell to screen increases. In this effect, the cell functions as a magnetic lens.
By applying a magnetic field (or electromagnetic) in a predetermined polarization, the light may be rotated or positioned at a movable point.
This is a 400x image has been altered only by using a green filter in
Photoshop. The nano-particles have assembled into microscopic
dual chains, oriented perpendicular to the applied magnetic field.
This region is where the 'ring' emerges. A laser shining through these
chains scatter into opposite directions forming an x-axis ray.
This condition of the particles moving into a lower energy
state is known as the Rosensweig Instability.
A paper parabola target is placed on the output side of a Ferrocell
induced with two cylinder magnets and stimulated with a red laser.
Top two frames show target with and without magnets.
With magnets, it's obvious the "secondary" arc is diverged a full
180 degrees. (look closely at the lower left and right frames).
Light emerges and diverges into the X-axis arc from the center of
the cell with the same diameter as the primary Z-axis laser beam,
but at a reduced brightness. A significant amount of the laser beam
is wasted in the primary Z-axis, but can be useful by using a
variety of modulation methods for extended modes of operation.
By inducing a 4-phase (with 90 degree offsets) quadrupole electromagnetic field into the cells center, the arc can be rotated continuously in a 360 degree circle around the laser beam (helical).
A Different type of Technology:
A Ferrocell does not function from single-potential electrostatics that rely
on substrate-based methods which impose limits of freedom. This is not typical TMOKE.
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.
Pics & Movies
* MEMS = Micro-Electrical-Mechanical System
** FLCD = Ferro-Liquid Crystal Display