I. Machines made of Machines
We introduce a new type of self-assembly through a novel approach to devise spinning microrotors that self-assemble and synchronize, from a single type of building block — a colloid that self-propels. Using photo-active particles and light patterns, we demonstrated the potential of non-equilibrium (phoretic) interactions to program self-assembly and control dynamical colloidal architectures.
II. Active Noise for Self-Assembly
Developments on active colloids have surged in recent years, mainly as a “toy for physicists” focused on exotic collective behaviors of collections of active particles. It overlooked their practical impact to deploy materials science beyond equilibrium and actually control matter. Active particles added to a material regulates its activity, i.e “temperature”, internally, opening a broad range of novel opportunities to thermal treatments, known in metallurgy. It ushers materials science to a new age, where the properties of matter are not controlled macroscopically but microscopically and in real time by active dopants.
We acknowledge support from the National Science Foundation (DMR- 1554724), Department of Energy (DE-SC0019769), Army Research Office (W911NF-20-1-0112) and the Sloan Foundation (FG-2017-9392).