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Light‐Driven Self‐Healing of Nanoparticle‐Based Metamolecules

Metamolecules and crystals consisting of nanoscale building blocks offer rich models to study colloidal chemistry, materials science, and photonics. Herein we demonstrate the self‐assembly of colloidal Ag nanoparticles into quasi‐one‐dimensional metamolecules with an intriguing self‐healing ability in a linearly polarized optical field. By investigating the spatial stability of the metamolecules, we found that the origin of self‐healing is the inhomogeneous interparticle electrodynamic interactions enhanced by the formation of unusual nanoparticle dimers, which minimize the free energy of the whole structure. The equilibrium configuration and self‐healing behavior can be further tuned by modifying the electrical double layers surrounding the nanoparticles. Our results reveal a unique route to build self‐healing colloidal structures assembled from simple metal nanoparticles. This approach could potentially lead to reconfigurable plasmonic devices for photonic and sensing applications.