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Abstract

In this review article, we conceptually investigated the requirements of magnetic nanoparticles for their application in biosensing and related them to example systems of our thin-film portfolio. Analyzing intrinsic magnetic properties of different magnetic phases, the size range of the magnetic particles was determined, which is of potential interest for biosensor technology. Different e-beam lithography strategies are utilized to identify possible ways to realize small magnetic particles targeting this size range. Three different particle systems from 500 μm to 50 nm are produced for this purpose, aiming at tunable, vertically magnetized synthetic antiferromagnets, martensitic transformation in a single elliptical, disc-shaped Heusler Ni50Mn32.5Ga17.5 particle and nanocylinders of Co2MnSi-Heusler compound. Perspectively, new applications for these particle systems in combination with microfluidics are addressed. Using the concept of a magnetic on–off ratchet, the most suitable particle system of these three materials is validated with respect to magnetically-driven transport in a microfluidic channel. In addition, options are also discussed for improving the magnetic ratchet for larger particles.