2022-013 – Magnetic Janus Particles

Janus particles are special types of nanoparticles or microparticles whose surfaces have two or more distinct physical properties. Magnetic Janus particles, in particular, provide a way to control the thermal infrared emissivity of a surface. For instance, when a magnetic field in the proximity of the optical device is applied to the system, Janus particles can self-align and decrease the device’s surface emissivity. Current optical systems, utilizing these particles, are focused on emissivity control, IR transparency, as well as visibility control as an obscurant. With further exploration, we envision a wide range of new biomedical applications, especially in drug delivery, bio-imaging, and bio-sensing.

Technology Description:
Researchers at the University of New Mexico and Lehigh University have developed an optical device that exhibits the interactive and advantageous relationship between magnetic Janus particles and the thermal infrared (IR) emissivity of a surface, by dynamically controlling the orientation of the particles. This system offers the ability to assemble the particle chains in situ and manipulate their orientation, while also enabling tunable optical responses via the extensive list of application materials and sizes. Both rapid optical contrast response and visual confirmation are additional advantages over existing solutions. The proposed system will add value to emissivity control, IR transparency, and visibility modulation; however, this device can also extend to biomedical research applications.




  • Offers dynamic assembly in situ with orientation manipulation capabilities
  • Enables tunable optical responses
  • Provides rapid optical contrast changes
  • Visual confirmation has been confirmed

Potential Applications:

  • Thermal Infrared Emissivity
    • Thermostat
    • Spaceship Temperature Control
    • Thermometers
    • Radiation Detection
  • IR-Transparency/Visibility Modulation
    • Optical Obscurant
  • Biomedical Research
    • Drug Delivery
    • Bio-Imaging
    • Bio-Sensing

Contact Information:

Name: Andrew Roerick

Email: aroerick@innovations.unm.edu

Phone: 505-277-0608