Light-Programmable Assemblies of Isotropic Micromotors

Shengping Che, Jianhua Zhang, Fangzhi Mou, Xia Guo, Joshua E. Kauffman, Ayusman Sen, Jianguo Guan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


“Life-like” nonequilibrium assemblies are of increasing significance, but suffering from limited steerability as they are generally based on micro/nanomotors with inherent asymmetry in chemical composition or geometry, of which the vigorous random Brownian rotations disturb the local interactions. Here, we demonstrate that isotropic photocatalytic micromotors, due to the persistent phoretic flow from the illuminated to shadowed side irrespective of their Brownian rotations, experience light-programmable local interactions (reversibly from attraction to repulsion and/or alignment) depending on the direction of the incident lights. Thus, they can be organized into a variety of tunable nonequilibrium assemblies, such as apolar solids (i.e., immobile colloidal crystal), polar liquids (i.e., phototactic colloidal stream), and polar solids (i.e., phototactic colloidal crystal), which can further be “cut” into a predesigned pattern by utilizing the switching motor-motor interactions at superimposed-light edges. This work facilitates the development of active matters and motile functional microdevices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9816562
StatePublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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