Resonant reshaping of colloidal clusters on a current carrying wire
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Colloids in confined geometries promise a path towards tailored microscopic superstructures. Yet, a major roadblock is posed by kinetically trapped states that prevent the assemblies from reaching their anticipated shapes. We investigate magnetic colloids trapped on a cylindrical surface of a current carrying wire. If kinetic traps could be avoided the wire’s surface would act as an ideal mold for colloidal rings and helical fibers. We devise here a way to dynamically shake down the clusters and avoid kinetic traps in their energy landscape. A low frequency magnetic modulation wave around the wire axis effectively eliminates defects from the clusters and stretches them into slender rings and helical filaments. A theoretical model is developed that qualitatively explains the observed resonant reshaping response of clusters.