Date of Award

7-2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Electrical Engineering

Advisor

Groff, Richard E

Committee Member

Kornev , Konstantin G

Committee Member

Walker , Ian D

Abstract

Magnetic microfibers have been developed in recent years with potential applications to a large number of fields, from MEMS to microfluidics to bio-chemical analyses. Magnetic microfibers based on polymer material like polypropylene and cellulose has been developed at Clemson University that are hollow cylindrical filaments internally coated with superparamagnetic nanoparticles. This internal coating provides the fiber with magnetic properties that allow them to be externally controlled using magnetic fields from a distance. These fibers can align with the external magnetic fields under constraints imposed by elastic properties and boundary conditions. Current work in this field is primarily focused on the use of micro-scale magnetic fibers under a constant homogenous magnetic field. The work presented in this thesis documents the experimental framework to provide precise position control under non-homogenous fields in a much larger scale. The fiber used is several centimeters long and is constrained at one end by being fixed to an acrylic base. Multiple solenoids are used to generate magnetic fields and cameras provide image information to the controller. The controller adjusts the current to the solenoids based on information obtained from the image. Current literature is surveyed to provide an overview of various models of magnetic fibers. Suggestions for improvements to the system are provided and future work that will aid in the transition to a model based control approach is explained.

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