Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Laser-accelerated self-assembly of colloidal particles at the water–air interface

Mincheng Zhong, Ziqiang Wang, and Yinmei Li

We experimentally demonstrate that optical tweezers can be used to accelerate the self-assembly of colloidal particles at a water–air interface in this Letter. The thermal flow induced by optical tweezers dominates the growth acceleration at the interface. Furthermore, optical tweezers are used to create a local growth peak at the growing front, which is used to study the preferential incorporation positions of incoming particles. The results show that the particles surfed with a strong Marangoni flow tend to fill the gap and smoothen the steep peaks. When the peak is smooth, the incoming particles incorporate the crystal homogeneously at the growing front.

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