Poster presentation by F. Schmidt at the Light at the Nanoscale conference, 5 December 2019

Light-induced phase separation power novel micro machines
Falko Schmidt, and Giovanni Volpe
Light at the Nanoscale Conference, Chalmers University, Gothenburg, Sweden
5 December 2019, 16:30-18:30

Focused laser light is used to trap a micronsized absorbing particle around its beam center where it performs constant orbital rotation. The light-induced local phase separations create a concentration gradient on which the particle moves along. Large patches of absorbing material on the particle’s surface give rise to a torque required for steady rotation1

Phase separation is a phenomena that commonly exists in nature, from the freezing of ice to the intrinsic mechanism of the cell to order matter. We are exploiting phase separations to produce new types of miniaturised machines, in particular micron and nano sized engines1as well as to form self-assembled colloidal molecules2. We control their behaviour using only light and varying its ambient temperature making this a simple tool to study complex matter3. This will enhance the development of future medicine where nano robots deliver drugs specifically to the local infection side.

References:1. F. Schmidt et al. Microscopic engine powered by critical demixingPhys Rev Lett 120, 068004, 2018

2. F. Schmidt et al. Light-controlled assembly of active colloidal molecules, J Chem Phys150, 094905, 2019

3. S. Bo et al. Measurement of anomalous diffusion using recurrent neural networksPhys Rev E 100, 010102(R), 2019

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