Activity-assisted self-assembly of colloidal particles

SA Mallory and A Cacciuto, PHYSICAL REVIEW E, 94, 022607 (2016).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.94.022607

We outline a basic strategy of how self-propulsion can be used to improve the yield of a typical colloidal self-assembly process. The success of this approach is predicated on the thoughtful design of the colloidal building block as well as how self-propulsion is endowed to the particle. As long as a set of criteria are satisfied, it is possible to significantly increase the rate of self-assembly, and greatly expand the window in parameter space where self-assembly can occur. In addition, we show that by tuning the relative on-off time of the self- propelling force it is possible to modulate the effective speed of the colloids allowing for further optimization of the self-assembly process.

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