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Issue 3, 2015
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Self-propulsion of a catalytically active particle near a planar wall: from reflection to sliding and hovering

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Abstract

Micron-sized particles moving through a solution in response to self-generated chemical gradients serve as model systems for studying active matter. Their far-reaching potential applications will require the particles to sense and respond to their local environment in a robust manner. The self-generated hydrodynamic and chemical fields, which induce particle motion, probe and are modified by that very environment, including confining boundaries. Focusing on a catalytically active Janus particle as a paradigmatic example, we predict that near a hard planar wall such a particle exhibits several scenarios of motion: reflection from the wall, motion at a steady-state orientation and height above the wall, or motionless, steady “hovering.” Concerning the steady states, the height and the orientation are determined both by the proportion of catalyst coverage and the interactions of the solutes with the different “faces” of the particle. Accordingly, we propose that a desired behavior can be selected by tuning these parameters via a judicious design of the particle surface chemistry.

Graphical abstract: Self-propulsion of a catalytically active particle near a planar wall: from reflection to sliding and hovering

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 Oct 2014, accepted on 14 Nov 2014 and first published on 19 Nov 2014


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C4SM02317J
Citation: Soft Matter, 2015,11, 434-438
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    Self-propulsion of a catalytically active particle near a planar wall: from reflection to sliding and hovering

    W. E. Uspal, M. N. Popescu, S. Dietrich and M. Tasinkevych, Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 434
    DOI: 10.1039/C4SM02317J

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