NATURE PHYSICS, vol.16, no.7, pp.795-816, 2020 (SCI-Expanded)
An important goal of self-assembly research is to develop a general methodology applicable to almost any material, from the smallest to the largest scales, whereby qualitatively identical results are obtained independently of initial conditions, size, shape and function of the constituents. Here, we introduce a dissipative self-assembly methodology demonstrated on a diverse spectrum of materials, from simple, passive, identical quantum dots (a few hundred atoms) that experience extreme Brownian motion, to complex, active, non-identical human cells (similar to 10(17) atoms) with sophisticated internal dynamics. Autocatalytic growth curves of the self-assembled aggregates are shown to scale identically, and interface fluctuations of growing aggregates obey the universal Tracy-Widom law. Example applications for nanoscience and biotechnology are further provided.