In materials science, interactions between dipolar forces of permanent magnets can lead to form one-dimensional chains and rings. In a new report on Science Advances, Leon Abelmann and a research team in electronic components, technology and materials at the Saarland University, University of Twente and Delft University of Technology in Germany and Netherlands investigated the possibility of allowing dipoles to self-assemble into 3-D structures by encapsulating them in a shell of a specific shape. The team realized the conditions for such self-assembly in a 3-D crystal when the dipole energies in parallel and anti-parallel states were equal. They formed the most regular structures using cylinders and cuboids, and the simple design rule helped form 3-D crystals from objects in the micron range, opening the way to engineer hitherto unknown metamaterials.

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