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Issue 20, 2017
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Directional transport of colloids inside a bath of self-propelling walkers

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Abstract

We present a setup in which passive colloids inside a solvent are moved to the boundaries of the container. The directional transport is facilitated by self-propelling microparticles (“walkers”) with an activity gradient, which reduces their propulsion in the vicinity of bounding walls. An attractive interaction leads to the adsorption of walkers onto the colloid-surfaces in regions of low walker activity. It is shown that the activity gradient generates a free energy gradient which in turn acts as a driving force on the passive colloids. We carry out molecular dynamics simulations and present approaches to a theoretical description of the involved processes. Although the simulation data are not reproduced on a fully quantitative level, their qualitative features are covered by the model. The effect described here may be applied to facilitate a directional transport of drugs or to eliminate pollutants.

Graphical abstract: Directional transport of colloids inside a bath of self-propelling walkers

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Publication details

The article was received on 27 Mar 2017, accepted on 21 Apr 2017 and first published on 25 Apr 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM00613F
Citation: Soft Matter, 2017,13, 3726-3733
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    Directional transport of colloids inside a bath of self-propelling walkers

    H. Merlitz, C. Wu and J. Sommer, Soft Matter, 2017, 13, 3726
    DOI: 10.1039/C7SM00613F

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