We actuate with light & magnets, we fold & unfold DNA, we cell-free express proteins, we play with drops, marbles & interfaces, we organize particles, we harness coffee rings.

Our new paper "Photoswitchable dissipative two‐dimensional colloidal crystals" accepted for publication in Angewandte!

Abstract: Control over particle interactions and organization at liquid interfaces is of great importance both for fundamental studies and practical applications. Rendering these systems stimulus‐responsive is thus a desired challenge both for investigating dynamic phenomena and realizing reconfigurable materials. Here we describe the first reversible photocontrol of two‐dimensional colloidal crystallization at the air/water interface, where millimeter‐sized assemblies of microparticles can be actuated through the dynamic adsorption/desorption behavior of a photosensitive surfactant added to the suspension. This allows us to dynamically switch the particle organization between a highly crystalline (under light) and a disordered (in dark) phase, with a fast response time (crystallization in ~10 s, disassembly in ~1 min). These results evidence a new kind of dissipative system where the crystalline state can be maintained only upon energy supply.


Photoswitchable dissipative two-dimensional colloidal crystals
J. Vialetto, M. Anyfantakis,* S. Rudiuk, M. Morel, D. Baigl*
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 58, 9145-9149
  -doi : 10.1002/anie.201904093