Optical assembly of multi-particle arrays by opto-hydrodynamic binding of microparticles close to a one-dimensional chain of magnetic microparticles


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Two-dimensional materials possess a large number of interesting and important properties. Various methods have been developed to assemble two-dimensional aggregates. Assembly of colloidal particles can be achieved with laser-heating-induced thermal convective flow. In this paper, an opto-hydrodynamic binding method is proposed to assemble colloidal particles dispersed in a solution into multilayer structures. First, we use polystyrene (PS) microspheres to study the feasibility and characteristics of the assembly method. PS microspheres and monodispersed magnetic silica microspheres (SLEs) are dispersed in a solution to form a binary mixture system. Under the action of an external uniform magnetic field, SLEs in the solution form chains. An SLE chain is heated by a laser beam. Due to the photothermal effect, the SLE chain is heated to produce a thermal gradient, resulting in thermal convection. The thermal convection drives the PS beads to move toward the heated SLE chain and finally stably assemble into multilayer aggregates on both sides of the SLE chain. The laser power affects the speed and result of the assembly. When the laser power is constant, the degree of constraint of the PS microbeads in different layers is also different. At the same time, this method can also assemble the biological cells, and the spacing of different layers of cells can be changed by changing the electrolyte concentration of the solution. Our work provides an approach to assembling colloidal particles and cells, which has a potential application in the analysis of the collective dynamics of microparticles and microbes.
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