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2014


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Finite-size scaling study of shear viscosity anomaly at liquid-liquid criticality

Roy, S., Das, S. K.

The Journal of Chemical Physics, 141(23), December 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

2014


DOI [BibTex]


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Wenn es was zu sagen gibt

(Klaus Tschira Award 2014 in Computer Science)

Trimpe, S.

Bild der Wissenschaft, pages: 20-23, November 2014, (popular science article in German) (article)

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PDF Project Page [BibTex]

PDF Project Page [BibTex]


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Robotics and Neuroscience

Floreano, Dario, Ijspeert, Auke Jan, Schaal, S.

Current Biology, 24(18):R910-R920, sep 2014 (article)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


Nanopropellers and Their Actuation in Complex Viscoelastic Media
Nanopropellers and Their Actuation in Complex Viscoelastic Media

Schamel, D., Mark, A. G., Gibbs, J. G., Miksch, C., Morozov, K. I., Leshansky, A. M., Fischer, P.

ACS Nano, 8(9):8794-8801, June 2014, Featured cover article. (article)

Abstract
Tissue and biological fluids are complex viscoelastic media with a nanoporous macromolecular structure. Here, we demonstrate that helical nanopropellers can be controllably steered through such a biological gel. The screw-propellers have a filament diameter of about 70 nm and are smaller than previously reported nanopropellers as well as any swimming microorganism. We show that the nanoscrews will move through high-viscosity solutions with comparable velocities to that of larger micropropellers, even though they are so small that Brownian forces suppress their actuation in pure water. When actuated in viscoelastic hyaluronan gels, the nanopropellers appear to have a significant advantage, as they are of the same size range as the gel’s mesh size. Whereas larger helices will show very low or negligible propulsion in hyaluronan solutions, the nanoscrews actually display significantly enhanced propulsion velocities that exceed the highest measured speeds in Newtonian fluids. The nanopropellers are not only promising for applications in the extracellular environment but small enough to be taken up by cells.

Featured cover article.

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Video - Helical Micro and Nanopropellers for Applications in Biological Fluidic Environments link (url) DOI [BibTex]


Nonmyopic View Planning for Active Object Classification and Pose Estimation
Nonmyopic View Planning for Active Object Classification and Pose Estimation

Atanasov, N., Sankaran, B., Le Ny, J., Pappas, G., Daniilidis, K.

IEEE Transactions on Robotics, May 2014, clmc (article)

Abstract
One of the central problems in computer vision is the detection of semantically important objects and the estimation of their pose. Most of the work in object detection has been based on single image processing and its performance is limited by occlusions and ambiguity in appearance and geometry. This paper proposes an active approach to object detection by controlling the point of view of a mobile depth camera. When an initial static detection phase identifies an object of interest, several hypotheses are made about its class and orientation. The sensor then plans a sequence of viewpoints, which balances the amount of energy used to move with the chance of identifying the correct hypothesis. We formulate an active M-ary hypothesis testing problem, which includes sensor mobility, and solve it using a point-based approximate POMDP algorithm. The validity of our approach is verified through simulation and real-world experiments with the PR2 robot. The results suggest a significant improvement over static object detection

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Web pdf link (url) [BibTex]

Web pdf link (url) [BibTex]


Data-Driven Grasp Synthesis - A Survey
Data-Driven Grasp Synthesis - A Survey

Bohg, J., Morales, A., Asfour, T., Kragic, D.

IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 30, pages: 289 - 309, IEEE, April 2014 (article)

Abstract
We review the work on data-driven grasp synthesis and the methodologies for sampling and ranking candidate grasps. We divide the approaches into three groups based on whether they synthesize grasps for known, familiar or unknown objects. This structure allows us to identify common object representations and perceptual processes that facilitate the employed data-driven grasp synthesis technique. In the case of known objects, we concentrate on the approaches that are based on object recognition and pose estimation. In the case of familiar objects, the techniques use some form of a similarity matching to a set of previously encountered objects. Finally for the approaches dealing with unknown objects, the core part is the extraction of specific features that are indicative of good grasps. Our survey provides an overview of the different methodologies and discusses open problems in the area of robot grasping. We also draw a parallel to the classical approaches that rely on analytic formulations.

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PDF link (url) DOI Project Page [BibTex]

PDF link (url) DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Rough Terrain Mapping and Navigation using a Continuously Rotating 2D Laser Scanner

Schadler, M., Stueckler, J., Behnke, S.

Künstliche Intelligenz (KI), 28(2):93-99, Springer, 2014 (article)

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Nonequilibrium statistical mechanics of the heat bath for two Brownian particles

De Bacco, C., Baldovin, F., Orlandini, E., Sekimoto, K.

Physical review letters, 112(18):180605, APS, 2014 (article)

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Preprint link (url) [BibTex]

Preprint link (url) [BibTex]


Targets-Drives-Means: {A} declarative approach to dynamic behavior specification with higher usability
Targets-Drives-Means: A declarative approach to dynamic behavior specification with higher usability

Berenz, V., Suzuki, K.

Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 62(4):545-555, 2014 (article)

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]


Circular polarization interferometry: circularly polarized modes of cholesteric liquid crystals
Circular polarization interferometry: circularly polarized modes of cholesteric liquid crystals

Sanchez-Castillo, A., Eslami, S., Giesselmann, F., Fischer, P.

OPTICS EXPRESS, 22(25):31227-31236, 2014 (article)

Abstract
We describe a novel polarization interferometer which permits the determination of the refractive indices for circularly-polarized light. It is based on a Jamin-Lebedeff interferometer, modified with waveplates, and permits us to experimentally determine the refractive indices n(L) and n(R) of the respectively left- and right-circularly polarized modes in a cholesteric liquid crystal. Whereas optical rotation measurements only determine the circular birefringence, i.e. the difference (n(L) - n(R)), the interferometer also permits the determination of their absolute values. We report refractive indices of a cholesteric liquid crystal in the region of selective (Bragg) reflection as a function of temperature. (C) 2014 Optical Society of America

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


Self-Propelling Nanomotors in the Presence of Strong Brownian Forces
Self-Propelling Nanomotors in the Presence of Strong Brownian Forces

Lee, T., Alarcon-Correa, M., Miksch, C., Hahn, K., Gibbs, J. G., Fischer, P.

NANO LETTERS, 14(5):2407-2412, 2014 (article)

Abstract
Motility in living systems is due to an array of complex molecular nanomotors that are essential for the function and survival of cells. These protein nanomotors operate not only despite of but also because of stochastic forces. Artificial means of realizing motility rely on local concentration or temperature gradients that are established across a particle, resulting in slip velocities at the particle surface and thus motion of the particle relative to the fluid. However, it remains unclear if these artificial motors can function at the smallest of scales, where Brownian motion dominates and no actively propelled living organisms can be found. Recently, the first reports have appeared suggesting that the swimming mechanisms of artificial structures may also apply to enzymes that are catalytically active. Here we report a scheme to realize artificial Janus nanoparticles (JNPs) with an overall size that is comparable to that of some enzymes similar to 30 nm. Our JNPs can catalyze the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen and thus actively move by self-electrophoresis. Geometric anisotropy of the Pt-Au Janus nanoparticles permits the simultaneous observation of their translational and rotational motion by dynamic light scattering. While their dynamics is strongly influenced by Brownian rotation, the artificial Janus nanomotors show bursts of linear ballistic motion resulting in enhanced diffusion.

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DOI [BibTex]


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Ultracompact Three-Dimensional Tubular Conductivity Microsensors for Ionic and Biosensing Applications

Martinez-Cisneros, C. S., Sanchez, S., Schmidt, O. G., Xi, W.

Nano Letters, pages: 2219-2224, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 2014 (article)

Abstract
We present ultracompact three-dimensional tubular structures integrating Au-based electrodes as impedimetric microsensors for the in-flow determination of mono- and divalent ionic species and HeLa cells. The microsensors show an improved performance of 2 orders of magnitude (limit of detection \textequals 0.1 nM for KCl) compared to conventional planar conductivity detection systems integrated in microfluidic platforms and the capability to detect single HeLa cells in flowing phosphate buffered saline. These highly integrated conductivity tubular sensors thus open new possibilities for lab-in-a-tube devices for bioapplications such as biosensing and bioelectronics.

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Catalytic nanomotors for environmental monitoring and water remediation

Soler, L., Sanchez, S.

Nanoscale, 6(13):7175-7182, 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Proton-proton collisions at ultra-relativistic energies in quark-gluon string model

Bravina, L., Bleibel, J., Malinina, L., Nilsson, M. S., Zabrodin, E.

EPJ Web of Conferences, 70, EDP Sciences, Les Ulis, 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Hydrodynamic interactions induce anomalous diffusion under partial confinement

Bleibel, J., Dominguez, A., Günther, F., Harting, J., Oettel, M.

Soft Matter, 10(17):2945-2948, Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK, 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Clay nanotube encapsulation for functional biocomposites

Lvov, Y., Aerov, Artem A., Aerov, A. A., Fakhrullin, R.

Advances in Colloid and Interface Science, 207, pages: 189-198, 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Dense Real-Time Mapping of Object-Class Semantics from RGB-D Video

Stueckler, J., Waldvogel, B., Schulz, H., Behnke, S.

Journal of Real-Time Image Processing (JRTIP), 10(4):599-609, Springer, 2014 (article)

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


Shape control in wafer-based aperiodic 3D nanostructures
Shape control in wafer-based aperiodic 3D nanostructures

Hyeon-Ho, J., Mark, A. G., Gibbs, J. G., Reindl, T., Waizmann, U., Weis, J., Fischer, P.

NANOTECHNOLOGY, 25(23), 2014, Cover article. (article)

Abstract
Controlled local fabrication of three-dimensional (3D) nanostructures is important to explore and enhance the function of single nanodevices, but is experimentally challenging. We present a scheme based on e-beam lithography (EBL) written seeds, and glancing angle deposition (GLAD) grown structures to create nanoscale objects with defined shapes but in aperiodic arrangements. By using a continuous sacrificial corral surrounding the features of interest we grow isolated 3D nanostructures that have complex cross-sections and sidewall morphology that are surrounded by zones of clean substrate.

Cover article.

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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A Limiting Property of the Matrix Exponential

Trimpe, S., D’Andrea, R.

IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 59(4):1105-1110, 2014 (article)

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PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Control of Self-Propelled Microjets Inside a Microchannel With Time-Varying Flow Rates

Magdanz, V., Sanchez, S., Schmidt, O. G., Khalil, I. S. M., Misra, S.

IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, pages: 49-58, IEEE, New York, NY, 2014 (article)

Abstract
We demonstrate the closed-loop motion control of self-propelled microjets inside a fluidic microchannel. The motion control of the microjets is achieved in hydrogen peroxide solution with time-varying flow rates, under the influence of the controlled magnetic fields and the self-propulsion force. Magnetic dipole mo- ment of the microjets is characterized using the U-turn and the rotating field techniques. The characterized magnetic dipole mo- ment has an average of 1.4 $\times$ 10 \textminus 13 A.m 2 at magnetic field, linear velocity, and boundary frequency of 2 mT, 100 $\mu$ m/s, and 25 rad/s, respectively. We implement a closed-loop control system that is based on the characterized magnetic dipole moment of the mi- crojets. This closed-loop control system positions the microjets by directing the magnetic field lines toward the reference position. Experiments are done using a magnetic system and a fluidic mi- crochannel with a width of 500 $\mu$ m. In the absence of a fluid flow, our control system positions the microjets at an average velocity and within an average region-of-convergence (ROC) of 119 $\mu$ m/s and 390 $\mu$ m, respectively. As a representative case, we observe that our control system positions the microjets at an average velocity and within an average ROC of 90 $\mu$ m/s and 600 $\mu$ m and 120 $\mu$ m/s and 600 $\mu$ m when a flow rate of 2.5 $\mu$ l/min is applied against and along the direction of the microjets, respectively. Furthermore, the average velocity and ROC are determined throughout the flow range (0 to 7.5 $\mu$ l/min) to characterize the motion of the microjets inside the microchannel

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Electrostatic interaction between colloidal particles trapped at an electrolyte interface

Majee, A., Bier, M., Dietrich, S.

The Journal of Chemical Physics, 140(16), American Institute of Physics, Woodbury, N.Y., 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Capillary attraction induced collapse of colloidal monolayers at fluid interfaces

Bleibel, J., Dominguez, A., Oettel, M., Dietrich, S.

Soft Matter, 10(23):4091-4109, Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK, 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Trapping self-propelled micromotors with microfabricated chevron and heart-shaped chips

Restrepo-Pérez, L., Soler, L., Mart\’\inez-Cisneros, C. S., Sanchez, S., Schmidt, O. G.

Lab on a Chip, 14(9):1515-1518, 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Order of wetting transitions in electrolyte solutions

Ibagon, I., Bier, M., Dietrich, S.

The Journal of Chemical Physics, 140(17), American Institute of Physics, Woodbury, N.Y., 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Specific salt effects on thermophoresis of charged colloids

Eslahian, K. A., Majee, A., Maskos, M., Würger, A.

Soft Matter, 10(12):1931-1936, 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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H5MD: A structured, efficient, and portable file format for molecular data

De Buyl, P., Colberg, P. H., Höfling, F.

Computer Physics Communications, 185(6):1546-1553, 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Emergent Long-Range Couplings in Arrays of Fluid Cells

Abraham, D. B., Maciolek, A., Vasilyev, O.

Physical Review Letters, 113(7), American Physical Society, Woodbury, N.Y., 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Multi-Resolution Surfel Maps for Efficient Dense 3D Modeling and Tracking

Stueckler, J., Behnke, S.

Journal of Visual Communication and Image Representation (JVCI), 25(1):137-147, 2014 (article)

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Event-Based State Estimation With Variance-Based Triggering

Trimpe, S., D’Andrea, R.

IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 59(12):3266-3281, 2014 (article)

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PDF Supplementary material DOI Project Page [BibTex]

PDF Supplementary material DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Effective interaction between a colloid and a soft interface near criticality

Law, A. D., Harnau, L., Tröndle, M., Dietrich, S.

The Journal of Chemical Physics, 141(13), 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Photoactive rolled-up TiO2 microtubes: fabrition, characterization and applications

Giuducatti, S., Marz, S. M., Soler, L., Madani, A., Jorgensen, M. R., Sanchez, S., Schmidt, O. G.

Journal of Materials Chemistry C: Materials for Optical and Electronic Devices, pages: 5892-5901, Royal Society of Chemistry, London, UK, 2014 (article)

Abstract
Because of its unique properties, titania (TiO2) represents a promising candidate in a wide variety of research fields. In this paper, some of the properties and potential applications of titania within rolled-up nanotechnology are explored. It is shown how the structural and optical properties of rolled titania microtubes can be controlled by properly tuning the microfabrication parameters. The rolling up of titania films on different sacrificial layers and containing different shapes, achieving a control on the diameter of the fabricated titania microtubes, is presented. In order to obtain the more photoactive crystalline form of titania, one during-fabrication and two post-fabrication methods are demonstrated. Interesting applications in the fields of photocatalysis and photonics are suggested: the use of titania rolled-up microtubes as micromotors and optical microresonators is presented.

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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How ions in solution can change the sign of the critical Casimir potential

Pousaneh, F., Ciach, A., Maciolek, A.

Soft Matter, 10(3):470-483, Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK, 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Critical Casimir interactions around the consolute point of a binary solvent

Mohry, T. F., Kondrat, S., Maciolek, A., Dietrich, S.

Soft Matter, 10(30):5510-5522, 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Collapse and reversibility of the superhydrophobic state on nanotextured surfaces

Checco, A., Ocko, B. M., Rahman, A., Black, C. T., Tasinkevych, M., Giacomello, A., Dietrich, S.

Physical Review Letters, 112(21), American Physical Society., Woodbury, N.Y., etc., 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Density functional theory of electrowetting

Bier, M., Ibagon, I.

Physical Review E, 89(4), American Physical Society, Melville, NY, 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


Swimming by reciprocal motion at low Reynolds number
Swimming by reciprocal motion at low Reynolds number

Qiu, T., Lee, T., Mark, A. G., Morozov, K. I., Muenster, R., Mierka, O., Turek, S., Leshansky, A. M., Fischer, P.

NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 5, 2014, Max Planck Press Release. (article)

Abstract
Biological microorganisms swim with flagella and cilia that execute nonreciprocal motions for low Reynolds number (Re) propulsion in viscous fluids. This symmetry requirement is a consequence of Purcell's scallop theorem, which complicates the actuation scheme needed by microswimmers. However, most biomedically important fluids are non-Newtonian where the scallop theorem no longer holds. It should therefore be possible to realize a microswimmer that moves with reciprocal periodic body-shape changes in non-Newtonian fluids. Here we report a symmetric `micro-scallop', a single-hinge microswimmer that can propel in shear thickening and shear thinning (non-Newtonian) fluids by reciprocal motion at low Re. Excellent agreement between our measurements and both numerical and analytical theoretical predictions indicates that the net propulsion is caused by modulation of the fluid viscosity upon varying the shear rate. This reciprocal swimming mechanism opens new possibilities in designing biomedical microdevices that can propel by a simple actuation scheme in non-Newtonian biological fluids.

Max Planck Press Release.

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Video - A Swimming Micro-Scallop Video - Winner of the Micro-robotic Design Challenge in Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics DOI [BibTex]

Video - A Swimming Micro-Scallop Video - Winner of the Micro-robotic Design Challenge in Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics DOI [BibTex]


Nanohelices by shadow growth
Nanohelices by shadow growth

Gibbs, J. G., Mark, A. G., Lee, T., Eslami, S., Schamel, D., Fischer, P.

NANOSCALE, 6(16):9457-9466, 2014 (article)

Abstract
The helix has remarkable qualities and is prevalent in many fields including mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology. This shape, which is chiral by nature, is ubiquitous in biology with perhaps the most famous example being DNA. Other naturally occurring helices are common at the nanoscale in the form of protein secondary structures and in various macromolecules. Nanoscale helices exhibit a wide range of interesting mechanical, optical, and electrical properties which can be intentionally engineered into the structure by choosing the correct morphology and material. As technology advances, these fabrication parameters can be fine-tuned and matched to the application of interest. Herein, we focus on the fabrication and properties of nanohelices grown by a dynamic shadowing growth method combined with fast wafer-scale substrate patterning which has a number of distinct advantages. We review the fabrication methodology and provide several examples that illustrate the generality and utility of nanohelices shadow-grown on nanopatterns.

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Video - Fabrication of Designer Nanostructures DOI [BibTex]


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Alignment of cylindrical colloids near chemically patterned substrates induced by critical Casimir torques

Labbe-Laurent, M., Tröndle, M., Harnau, L., Dietrich, S.

Soft Matter, 10(13):2270-2291, Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK, 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Heat transfer between anisotropic nanoparticles: Enhancement and switching

Incardone, R., Emig, T., Krüger, M.

Europhysics Letters, 106(4), 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Rolled-up Functionalized Nanomembranes as Three-Dimensional Cavities for Single Cell Studies

Xi, W., Schmidt, C., Sanchez, S., Gracias, D., Carazo-Salas, R., Jackson, S., Schmidt, O. G.

Nano Letters, 14(8):4197-4204, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Dispersions of ellipsoidal particles in a nematic liquid crystal

Tasinkevych, M., Mondiot, F., Mondain-Monval, O., Loudet, J. C.

Soft Matter, 10(12):2047-2058, Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK, 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Critical Casimir interactions between spherical particles in the presence of bulk ordering fields

Vasilyev, O.

Physical Review E, 90, American Physical Society, Melville, NY, 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Towards Template-Assisted Assembly of Nematic Colloids

Silvestre, N. M., Liu, Q., Senyuk, B., Smalyukh, I. I., Tasinkevych, M.

Physical Review Letters, 112(22), American Physical Society, Woodbury, N.Y., 2014 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


Chiral Nanomagnets
Chiral Nanomagnets

Eslami, S., Gibbs, J. G., Rechkemmer, Y., van Slageren, J., Alarcon-Correa, M., Lee, T., Mark, A. G., Rikken, G. L. J. A., Fischer, P.

ACS PHOTONICS, 1(11):1231-1236, 2014 (article)

Abstract
We report on the enhanced optical properties of chiral magnetic nanohelices with critical dimensions comparable to the ferromagnetic domain size. They are shown to be ferromagnetic at room temperature, have defined chirality, and exhibit large optical activity in the visible as verified by electron microscopy, superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) magnetometry, natural circular dichroism (NCD), and magnetic circular dichroism (MCD) measurements. The structures exhibit magneto-chiral dichroism (MChD), which directly demonstrates coupling between their structural chirality and magnetism. A chiral nickel (Ni) film consisting of an array of nanohelices similar to 100 nm in length exhibits an MChD anisotropy factor g(MChD) approximate to 10(-4) T-1 at room temperature in a saturation field of similar to 0.2 T, permitting polarization-independent control of the film's absorption properties through magnetic field modulation. This is also the first report of MChD in a material with structural chirality on the order of the wavelength of light, and therefore the Ni nanohelix array is a metamaterial with magnetochiral properties that can be tailored through a dynamic deposition process.

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


Wireless powering of e-swimmers
Wireless powering of e-swimmers

Roche, J., Carrara, S., Sanchez, J., Lannelongue, J., Loget, G., Bouffier, L., Fischer, P., Kuhn, A.

SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 4, 2014 (article)

Abstract
Miniaturized structures that can move in a controlled way in solution and integrate various functionalities are attracting considerable attention due to the potential applications in fields ranging from autonomous micromotors to roving sensors. Here we introduce a concept which allows, depending on their specific design, the controlled directional motion of objects in water, combined with electronic functionalities such as the emission of light, sensing, signal conversion, treatment and transmission. The approach is based on electric field-induced polarization, which triggers different chemical reactions at the surface of the object and thereby its propulsion. This results in a localized electric current that can power in a wireless way electronic devices in water, leading to a new class of electronic swimmers (e-swimmers).

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


Swelling and shrinking behaviour of photoresponsive phosphonium-based ionogel microstructures
Swelling and shrinking behaviour of photoresponsive phosphonium-based ionogel microstructures

Czugala, M., O’Connell, C., Blin, C., Fischer, P., Fraser, K. J., Benito-Lopez, F., Diamond, D.

SENSORS AND ACTUATORS B-CHEMICAL, 194, pages: 105-113, 2014 (article)

Abstract
Photoresponsive N-isopropylacrylamide ionogel microstructures are presented in this study. These ionogels are synthesised using phosphonium based room temperature ionic liquids, together with the photochromic compound benzospiropyran. The microstructures can be actuated using light irradiation, facilitating non-contact and non-invasive operation. For the first time, the characterisation of the swelling and shrinking behaviour of several photopatterned ionogel microstructures is presented and the influence of surface-area-to-volume ratio on the swelling kinetics is evaluated. It was found that the swelling and shrinking behaviour of the ionogels is strongly dependent on the nature of the ionic liquid. In particular, the {[}P-6,P-6,P-6,P-14]{[}NTf2] ionogel exhibits the greatest degree of swelling, reaching up to 180\% of its initial size, and the fastest shrinkage rate (k(sh) = 29 +/- 4 x 10(-2) s(-1)). (C) 2014 Elsevier B. V. All rights reserved.

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Shortest node-disjoint paths on random graphs

De Bacco, C., Franz, S., Saad, D., Yeung, C. H.

Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment, 2014(7):P07009, IOP Publishing, 2014 (article)

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Preprint link (url) Project Page [BibTex]

Preprint link (url) Project Page [BibTex]


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Perspective: Intelligent Systems: Bits and Bots

Spatz, J. P., Schaal, S.

Nature, (509), 2014, clmc (article)

Abstract
What is intelligence, and can we create it? Animals can perceive, reason, react and learn, but they are just one example of an intelligent system. Intelligent systems could be robots as large as humans, helping with search-and- rescue operations in dangerous places, or smart devices as tiny as a cell, delivering drugs to a target within the body. Even computing systems can be intelligent, by perceiving the world, crawling the web and processing â??big dataâ?? to extract and learn from complex information.Understanding not only how intelligence can be reproduced, but also how to build systems that put these ideas into practice, will be a challenge. Small intelligent systems will require new materials and fabrication methods, as well as com- pact information processors and power sources. And for nano-sized systems, the rules change altogether. The laws of physics operate very differently at tiny scales: for a nanorobot, swimming through water is like struggling through treacle.Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems have begun to solve these problems by developing new computational methods, experiment- ing with unique robotic systems and fabricating tiny, artificial propellers, like bacterial flagella, to propel nanocreations through their environment.

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PDF link (url) [BibTex]

PDF link (url) [BibTex]