In work that upends materials design, researchers have demonstrated with computer simulations that they can design a crystal and work backward to the particle shape that will self-assemble to create it.

It could lead to a new class of , such as crystal coatings that produce colors that never fade.

"These results turn materials design and our understanding of entropy on their heads," said Sharon Glotzer, the Anthony C. Lembke Department Chair of Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan and senior author on the paper in Science Advances.

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