EPSRC CDT in Metamaterials: Theoretical models of a new class of magneto-elastic metamaterials

University of Exeter - Departments of Physics and Astronomy, and Department of Engineering

The studentship is part of the EPSRC Centre of Doctoral Training in Metamaterials (XM2), www.exeter.ac.uk/metamaterials. Our aim is to undertake world-leading research, while training scientists and engineers with the relevant research skills and knowledge, and professional attributes for industry and academia.

Joint supervisors: Dr F.Y. Ogrin, Dr P.G. Petrov, Prof A.D. Gilbert

(i) The aim of the project is to explore metamaterials based on patterned microscopic ferromagnetic elements embedded in two-dimensionally structured elastic membrane. In our theoretical studies [1-2] we have shown that a single unit of such a material – a magnetic micromotor – can exhibit rich dynamics under activation by AC magnetic field. In particular, it can self-propel or pump liquids at low Reynolds number (Re << 1). These properties result from the interaction of magnetic, elastic and hydrodynamic forces and are well understood on the basis of formalism described by the Navier-Stokes equations [3].

However, as our experimental prototypes demonstrate [4], there is a significant hydrodynamic contribution from the elastic membrane that can dominate all other factors. This contribution to the dynamics of the system is crucial but currently unexplored. In this project we will explore these effects theoretically using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The primary objective is to build a base model that can investigate fluid flow for specified 2D membrane structures and 3D membrane constructs. This will provide an invaluable tool for guiding the experimental work on implementing prototype materials. The results of the simulation will be fed into the ABIOMETER project and thus will provide a direct route for experimental verification. (ii) In addition to the themes stated above (Acoustic & Fluid-dynamical Metamaterials and Biological & Bio-inspired Metamaterials), the project relates also to the subtheme of Magnetic metamaterials. (iii) This project will be an integral part of our drive for implementing a new class of soft magneto-elastic materials. Such materials will have the potential to provide breakthroughs across a range of technologies including electromagnetic metamaterials, microfluidics, tissue engineering, auxetics, optics and photonics.  (iv) Collaborators: University of Oxford (J. Yeomans, R. Golestanian), University of Barcelona, (F. Sagues, P. Tierno), SPINTEC, CEA/Grenoble-INP (H. Joisten, B. Deny) and Microlabdevices Ltd, UK (T. Myers).

4-year studentship: for UK/EU students, the studentship includes tuition fees and an annual stipend equivalent to current Research Council rates; for international students (non-EU) a very small number of fees only studentships may be available

[1] F.Y. Ogrin, P.G. Petrov et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 100 (2008) 218102.A.D. Gilbert et al. Q. J. Mech. Appl. Math. 64 (2011) 239-263.
[2]  F.Y. Ogrin, P.G. Petrov et al. Controllable Magnetic Systems, Patent application WO 2009/103938 A1, US 2011/0052393 A1, 2009, 2011.
[3] E. M. Purcell, Am. J. Phys. (1977) 45, 3. J. Hamilton et al. (submitted to Sci. Reports 2016).

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