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Issue 29, 2018
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Diffusiophoretically induced interactions between chemically active and inert particles

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Abstract

In the presence of a chemically active particle, a nearby chemically inert particle can respond to a concentration gradient and move by diffusiophoresis. The nature of the motion is studied for two cases: first, a fixed reactive sphere and a moving inert sphere, and second, freely moving reactive and inert spheres. The continuum reaction–diffusion and Stokes equations are solved analytically for these systems and microscopic simulations of the dynamics are carried out. Although the relative velocities of the spheres are very similar in the two systems, the local and global structures of streamlines and the flow velocity fields are found to be quite different. For freely moving spheres, when the two spheres approach each other the flow generated by the inert sphere through diffusiophoresis drags the reactive sphere towards it. This leads to a self-assembled dimer motor that is able to propel itself in solution. The fluid flow field at the moment of dimer formation changes direction. The ratio of sphere sizes in the dimer influences the characteristics of the flow fields, and this feature suggests that active self-assembly of spherical colloidal particles may be manipulated by sphere-size changes in such reactive systems.

Graphical abstract: Diffusiophoretically induced interactions between chemically active and inert particles

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Publication details

The article was received on 29 May 2018, accepted on 18 Jun 2018 and first published on 25 Jun 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01102H
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018,14, 6043-6057
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Diffusiophoretically induced interactions between chemically active and inert particles

    S. Y. Reigh, P. Chuphal, S. Thakur and R. Kapral, Soft Matter, 2018, 14, 6043
    DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01102H

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