Wetting of ferrofluids: Phenomena and control

Mika Latikka*, Matilda Backholm, Jaakko V.I. Timonen, Robin H.A. Ras

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


Ferrofluids are liquids exhibiting remarkably strong response to magnetic fields, which leads to fascinating properties useful in various applications. Understanding the wetting properties and spreading of ferrofluids is important for their use in microfluidics and magnetic actuation. However, this is challenging as magnetically induced deformation of the ferrofluid surface can affect contact angles, which are commonly used to characterize wetting properties in other systems. In addition, interaction of the magnetic nanoparticles and solid surface at nanoscale can have surprising effects on ferrofluid spreading. In this review we discuss these issues with focus on interpretation of ferrofluid contact angles. We review recent literature examining ferrofluid wetting phenomena and outline novel wetting related ferrofluid applications. To better understand wetting of ferrofluids, more careful experimental work is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-129
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Opinion in Colloid and Interface Science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


  • Contact angle
  • Ferrofluid
  • Magnetic field
  • Magnetic nanoparticles
  • Wetting


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