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Dynamics and assemblies of colloidal particles under Magnetic and Optical forces (DYNAMO)
Start date: Jan 1, 2014, End date: Dec 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Control of microscale matter through selective manipulation of colloidal building blocks will unveil novel scientific and technological avenues expanding current frontiers of knowledge in Soft Matter systems. I propose to combine state-of-the-art micromanipulation techniques based on magnetic and optical forces to transport, probe and assemble colloidal matter with single particle resolution in real time/space and otherwise unreachable capabilities. In the first part of the project, I will use paramagnetic colloids as externally controllable magnetic inclusions to probe the structural and rheological properties of optically assembled colloid crystals and glasses. In the second part, I will realize a new class of anisotropy patchy magnetic colloids, characterized by selective, directional and reversible interactions and employ these remotely addressable units to realize gels and frustrated crystals (static case), active jamming and synchronization via hydrodynamic coupling (dynamic case).DynaMO project will power a basic experimental research embracing a variety of apparently different systems ranging from deterministic ratchets, viscoelastic crystals, glasses, patchy colloidal gels, frustrated crystals, active jamming, and hydrodynamic waves. The ERC grant will allow me to establish a young and dynamic research group of interdisciplinary nature focused on these issues and aimed at performing high quality research and training/inspiring talented researchers in innovative and challenging scientific projects.
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