In a recent installment of Deus Ex game series there is an augmentation called "Titan Shield" (it has nothing to do with $\ce{Ti}$ element):

A neodymium skin underlay matrix built of nano-meshed rare earth magnets and powered with hook-ins to the Biocell electrical system, the TITAN skin augmentation can be activated at will and then dissipated instantaneously.

When activated, dimorphic magnetorheological fluid is ejected from tiny nozzles installed throughout the skin. Simultaneously, the neodymium underlay electrifies, causing the fluid to solidify and seal the user inside an iron shell, effectively protecting them from all physical damage. The shield is resistant to gunfire and all forms of conventional explosives, but is vulnerable to EMP-based weaponry.

enter image description here
Titan Shield in action. From the official trailer of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.

The second part regarding dimorphic magnetorheological fluid (MRF) looks quite plausible: such systems combining micro-sized spherical iron particles with nano-sized iron wires in order to prevent sedimentation and increase its responsiveness to external magnetic field are well known and can be prepared relatively easy [1].

Also, MRFs are used in vehicle suspension systems for more a decade now and they can withstand physical impact and dampen incoming momentum [2]. Typical design suggests putting a piston rod with MRF inside a coil which is upon electrifying controls solidification [3].

But the first part regarding "nano-meshed rare earth magnets" that can be triggered via sending electrical impulses caught me off guard. I thought that as long as conventional lanthanide-based magnets are permanent and have constant permeability in absence of external magnetic field, nanoscaled/single-molecule magnets are also permanent and cannot be used to dinamically change rheological properties of magnetorheological fluid.

Is there any existing examples of single-molecule magnets with permeability that can be controlled via altering current flow just like in case of electromagnets? If not, is there an explanation why it is not possible?

And yes, I do ask for this:)


  1. Ngatu, G. T.; Wereley, N. M.; Karli, J. O.; Bell, R. C. Smart Mater. Struct. 2008, 17 (4), 045022. DOI: 10.1088/0964-1726/17/4/045022.
  2. Gołdasz, J.; Sapiński, B. Insight into Magnetorheological Shock Absorbers; Springer, 2015. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-13233-4.
  3. Liu, Q.; Jing, T.; Mo, A.; Xu, X.; Zhang, W. IEEE, 2015,; pp 2495–2500. DOI: 10.1109/ROBIO.2015.7419714.
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Your question is much better then this in-universe description :) $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Jul 18 '17 at 19:34

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.