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Magnetic handshake materials as a scale invariant platform for programmed self-assembly

Magnetic materials provide a unique solution to a long-standing challenge in material science: the development of a scale-invariant technology whichuses simple building blocks to build smart, digital, and structurally complex materials.

Using the 2x2 arrays of magnets pictured above, we are able to achieve specific binding by encoding information via dipole patterns. These centimeter-scale systems exhibit three canonical hallmarks of assembly:

1. Controlled polymerization of individual building blocks:

2. Assembly of 1-dimensional strands made of panels connected by elastic backbones: