Self-assembly and reconfigurability of shape-shifting particles

Trung Dac Nguyen, Eric Jankowski, Sharon C. Glotzer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Reconfigurability of two-dimensional colloidal crystal structures assembled by anisometric particles capable of changing their shape were studied by molecular dynamics computer simulation. We show that when particles change shape on cue, the assembled structures reconfigure into different ordered structures, structures with improved order, or more densely packed disordered structures, on faster time scales than can be achieved via self-assembly from an initially disordered arrangement. These results suggest that reconfigurable building blocks can be used to assemble reconfigurable materials, as well as to assemble structures not possible otherwise, and that shape shifting could be a promising mechanism to engineer assembly pathways to ordered and disordered structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8892-8903
Number of pages12
JournalACS nano
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 22 2011


  • computer simulation
  • reconfigurable materials
  • self-assembly
  • shape-shifting particles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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