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Micromachines 2018, 9(2), 88; doi:10.3390/mi9020088

Light-Controlled Swarming and Assembly of Colloidal Particles

State Key Laboratory of Advanced Technology for Materials Synthesis and Processing, International School of Materials Science and Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 January 2018 / Revised: 4 February 2018 / Accepted: 11 February 2018 / Published: 19 February 2018
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Swarms and assemblies are ubiquitous in nature and they can perform complex collective behaviors and cooperative functions that they cannot accomplish individually. In response to light, some colloidal particles (CPs), including light active and passive CPs, can mimic their counterparts in nature and organize into complex structures that exhibit collective functions with remote controllability and high temporospatial precision. In this review, we firstly analyze the structural characteristics of swarms and assemblies of CPs and point out that light-controlled swarming and assembly of CPs are generally achieved by constructing light-responsive interactions between CPs. Then, we summarize in detail the recent advances in light-controlled swarming and assembly of CPs based on the interactions arisen from optical forces, photochemical reactions, photothermal effects, and photoisomerizations, as well as their potential applications. In the end, we also envision some challenges and future prospects of light-controlled swarming and assembly of CPs. With the increasing innovations in mechanisms and control strategies with easy operation, low cost, and arbitrary applicability, light-controlled swarming and assembly of CPs may be employed to manufacture programmable materials and reconfigurable robots for cooperative grasping, collective cargo transportation, and micro- and nanoengineering. View Full-Text
Keywords: light control; colloidal particles; swarm; assembly; collective behaviors light control; colloidal particles; swarm; assembly; collective behaviors

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Zhang, J.; Guo, J.; Mou, F.; Guan, J. Light-Controlled Swarming and Assembly of Colloidal Particles. Micromachines 2018, 9, 88.

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