Publication Details

Tierno, P., Johansen, T. & Fischer, T. (2014). Fast and rewritable colloidal assembly via field synchronized particle swapping. Applied Physics Letters, 104 (17), 174102-1-174102-5.


We report a technique to realize reconfigurable colloidal crystals by using the controlled motion of particle defects above an externally modulated magnetic substrate. The transport of particles is induced by applying a uniform rotating magnetic field to a ferrite garnet film characterized by a periodic lattice of magnetic bubbles. For filling factor larger than one colloid per bubble domain, the particle current arises from propagating defects where particles synchronously exchange their position when passing from one occupied domain to the next. The amplitude of an applied alternating magnetic field can be used to displace the excess particles via a swapping mechanism, or to mobilize the entire colloidal system at a predefined speed.



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