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Issue 30, 2016
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Trochoidal trajectories of self-propelled Janus particles in a diverging laser beam

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Abstract

We describe colloidal Janus particles with metallic and dielectric faces that swim vigorously when illuminated by defocused optical tweezers without consuming any chemical fuel. Rather than wandering randomly, these optically-activated colloidal swimmers circulate back and forth through the beam of light, tracing out sinuous rosette patterns. We propose a model for this mode of light-activated transport that accounts for the observed behavior through a combination of self-thermophoresis and optically-induced torque. In the deterministic limit, this model yields trajectories that resemble rosette curves known as hypotrochoids.

Graphical abstract: Trochoidal trajectories of self-propelled Janus particles in a diverging laser beam

  • This article is part of the themed collection: Colloids
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Article information


Submitted
19 May 2016
Accepted
16 Jun 2016
First published
16 Jun 2016

Soft Matter, 2016,12, 6357-6364
Article type
Paper

Trochoidal trajectories of self-propelled Janus particles in a diverging laser beam

H. Moyses, J. Palacci, S. Sacanna and D. G. Grier, Soft Matter, 2016, 12, 6357
DOI: 10.1039/C6SM01163B

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