Advances towards programmable matter

  • Tolley M
  • Krishnan M
 et al. 
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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.

Author-supplied keywords

  • microtile
  • programmable matter
  • self-assembly
  • switchable affinity

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  • SCOPUS: 2-s2.0-84902491456
  • SGR: 84902491456
  • ISBN: 9780979806414
  • PUI: 373320965


  • Michael T Tolley

  • Michael T Tolley

  • Mekala Krishnan

  • Mekala Krishnan

  • Hod Lipson

  • Hod Lipson

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