Science Daily: Custom silicon microparticles dynamically reconfigure on demand

First demonstration of self-assembling and self-disassembling silicon microparticles could form the basis for designing artificial muscles and reconfigurable computer systems

Researchers at Duke University and North Carolina State University have demonstrated the first custom semiconductor microparticles to exhibit dynamically selectable behaviors while suspended in water. The study presents the first steps toward realizing advanced applications such as artificial muscles and reconfigurable computer systems.

Researchers at Duke University and North Carolina State University have demonstrated the first custom semiconductor microparticles that can be steered into various configurations repeatedly while suspended in water.

With an initial six custom particles that predictably interact with one another in the presence of alternating current (AC) electric fields of varying frequencies, the study presents the first steps toward realizing advanced applications such as artificial muscles and reconfigurable computer systems.

The study appears online on May 3 in the journal Nature Communications.

“We’ve engineered and encoded multiple dynamic responses in different microparticles to create a reconfigurable silicon toolbox,” said Ugonna Ohiri, a recently graduated electrical engineering doctoral student from Duke and first author of the paper. “By providing a means of controllably assembling and disassembling these particles, we’re bringing a new tool to the field of active matter.”

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180503085555.htm

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