A notable dichotomy exists between the bottom-up self-assembly paradigm used to create regular structures at the nanoscale, and top-down approaches used to fabricate arbitrary structures serially at larger scales. We have recently proposed an alternative approach based on dynamically programmable self-assembling materials, or programmable matter [1-3]. Unlike most current self-assembly methods, our approach uses dynamically-switchable affinities between assembling components facilitating the assembly of irregular structures. Here we present two experimental advances towards a programmable matter system: the development of a multi-chamber microfluidic chip for improved far-field assembly, and the demonstration of nearfield inter-tile affinity switching using a thermorheological assembly fluid.
Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research
Choose a citation style from the tabs below