Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 35, 2018
Previous Article Next Article

Clustering-induced self-propulsion of isotropic autophoretic particles

Author affiliations

Abstract

Self-diffusiophoretic particles exploit local concentration gradients of a solute species in order to self-propel at the micron scale. While an isolated chemically- and geometrically-isotropic particle cannot swim, we show that it can achieve self-propulsion through interactions with other individually-non-motile particles by forming geometrically-anisotropic clusters via phoretic and hydrodynamic interactions. This result identifies a new route to symmetry-breaking for the concentration field and to self-propulsion, that is not based on an anisotropic design, but on the collective dynamics of identical and homogeneous active particles. Using full numerical simulations as well as theoretical modelling of the clustering process, the statistics of the propulsion properties are obtained for arbitrary initial arrangement of the particles. The robustness of these results to thermal noise, and more generally the effect of Brownian motion of the particles, is also discussed.

Graphical abstract: Clustering-induced self-propulsion of isotropic autophoretic particles

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 03 Apr 2018, accepted on 07 Jun 2018 and first published on 30 Jul 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00690C
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018,14, 7155-7173
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
  •   Request permissions

    Clustering-induced self-propulsion of isotropic autophoretic particles

    A. Varma, T. D. Montenegro-Johnson and S. Michelin, Soft Matter, 2018, 14, 7155
    DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00690C

    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material and it is not used for commercial purposes.

    Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

    • For reproduction of material from NJC:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
      [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
    • For reproduction of material from PPS:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

    Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements