Living crystals of light-activated colloidal surfers

Jeremie Palacci, Stefano Sacanna, Asher Preska Steinberg, David J. Pine, Paul M. Chaikin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Spontaneous formation of colonies of bacteria or flocks of birds are examples of self-organization in active living matter. Here, we demonstrate a form of self-organization from nonequilibrium driving forces in a suspension of synthetic photoactivated colloidal particles. They lead to two-dimensional "living crystals," which form, break, explode, and re-form elsewhere. The dynamic assembly results from a competition between self-propulsion of particles and an attractive interaction induced respectively by osmotic and phoretic effects and activated by light. We measured a transition from normal to giant-number fluctuations. Our experiments are quantitatively described by simple numerical simulations. We show that the existence of the living crystals is intrinsically related to the out-of-equilibrium collisions of the self-propelled particles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)936-940
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume339
Issue number6122
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 22 2013

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Birds
Suspensions
Bacteria
Light

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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Living crystals of light-activated colloidal surfers. / Palacci, Jeremie; Sacanna, Stefano; Steinberg, Asher Preska; Pine, David J.; Chaikin, Paul M.

In: Science, Vol. 339, No. 6122, 22.02.2013, p. 936-940.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Palacci, J, Sacanna, S, Steinberg, AP, Pine, DJ & Chaikin, PM 2013, 'Living crystals of light-activated colloidal surfers', Science, vol. 339, no. 6122, pp. 936-940. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1230020
Palacci, Jeremie ; Sacanna, Stefano ; Steinberg, Asher Preska ; Pine, David J. ; Chaikin, Paul M. / Living crystals of light-activated colloidal surfers. In: Science. 2013 ; Vol. 339, No. 6122. pp. 936-940.
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