Activity-enhanced self-assembly of a colloidal kagome lattice

Here, we describe a method for the enhanced self-assembly of triblock Janus colloids targeted to form a kagome lattice. Using computer simulations, we demonstrate that the formation of this elusive structure can be significantly improved by self-propelling or activating the colloids along the axis connecting their hydrophobic hemispheres. The process by which metastable aggregates are destabilized and transformed into the favored kagome lattice is quite general, and we argue this active approach provides a systematic pathway to improving the self-assembly of a large number of colloidal structures.