Temperature can control a lock-and-key self-assembly mechanism

A group of Lund University researchers including Peter Schurtenberger have published a paper demonstrating that they can use oppositely charged thermoresponsive particles with complementary shapes, such as spherical and bowl-shaped particles, to implement an externally controllable lock-and-key self-assembly mechanism. The goal is to have the particles self-organize in order to make complex structures.

Read more in the Lund University press release (in Swedish) or the paper published in Science Advances: "Assembling oppositely charged lock and key responsive colloids: A mesoscale analog of adaptive chemistry" by AM Mihut, B Stenqvist, M Lund, P Schurtenberger and JJ Crassous. Science Advances  15 Sep 2017: Vol. 3, no. 9, e1700321. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1700321