Magnetically-actuated functional gradient nanocomposites can be locally modulated to generate unprecedented mechanical gradients that can be applied to various interfaces and surfaces through following the design principles of natural biological materials. However, a key question is how to modulate the concentration of magnetic particles using an external magnetic field. Here, we propose a model to obtain the gradient concentration distribution of magnetic particles and mechanical gradients. The results show that three states exist when the magnetic force changes in the z
direction, including the unchanging state, the stable gradient state, and the over-accumulation state, which are consistent with experiment results. If both radial and axial magnetic forces are present, the inhomogeneity of magnetic–particle distribution in two dimensions was found to break the functional gradient. Furthermore, the size effects of a functional gradient sample were studied, which indicated that adjusting the magnetic force and diffusion constant would enable larger nanocomposites samples to generate functional gradients.
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