Self-assembly and tunable mechanics of reconfigurable colloidal crystals

Kevin L. Kohlstedt*, Sharon C. Glotzer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


We investigate the self-assembly of crystals from reconfigurable colloidal building blocks. The building blocks possess the unique ability, inspired by recent experiments, to continuously alter their shape before, during, and after assembly. Using molecular simulations, we report the assembly of a reconfigurable degenerate crystal containing a fractionally filled kagome sublattice. We show that this degenerate crystal differs from, and assembles more easily than, its counterpart known for rigid dimers. We further report that the reconfigurable crystal has unique mechanical properties under shear strain compared to a crystal comprised of rigid building blocks. We find that even a small amount of reconfigurability in an assembly of otherwise rigid building blocks can greatly affect mechanical properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number032305
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 13 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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