Light driven guided and self-organized motion of mesoporous colloidal particles†
We report on guided and self-organized motion of ensembles of mesoporous colloidal particles that can undergo dynamic aggregation or separation upon exposure to light. The forces on particles involve the phenomenon of light-driven diffusioosmosis (LDDO) and are hydrodynamic in nature. They can be made to act passively on the ensemble as a whole but also used to establish a mutual interaction between particles. The latter scenario requires a porous colloid morphology such that the particle can act as a source or sink of a photosensitive surfactant, which drives the LDDO process. The interplay between the two modes of operation leads to fascinating possibilities of dynamical organization and manipulation of colloidal ensembles adsorbed at solid–liquid interfaces. While the passive mode can be thought of to allow for a coarse structuring of a cloud of colloids, the inter-particle mode may be used to impose a fine structure on a 2D particle grid. Local flow is used to impose and tailor interparticle interactions allowing for much larger interaction distances that can be achieved with, e.g., DLVO type of forces, and is much more versatile.