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Metallic microswimmers driven up the wall by gravity

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Abstract

Experiments on autophoretic bimetallic nanorods propelling within a fuel of hydrogen peroxide show that tail-heavy swimmers preferentially orient upwards and ascend along inclined planes. We show that such gravitaxis is strongly facilitated by interactions with solid boundaries, allowing even ultraheavy microswimmers to climb nearly vertical surfaces. Theory and simulations show that the buoyancy or gravitational torque that tends to align the rods is reinforced by a fore-aft drag asymmetry induced by hydrodynamic interactions with the wall.

Graphical abstract: Metallic microswimmers driven up the wall by gravity

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Article information


Submitted
15 Apr 2021
Accepted
11 Jun 2021
First published
11 Jun 2021

Soft Matter, 2021, Advance Article
Article type
Paper

Metallic microswimmers driven up the wall by gravity

Q. Brosseau, F. B. Usabiaga, E. Lushi, Y. Wu, L. Ristroph, M. D. Ward, M. J. Shelley and J. Zhang, Soft Matter, 2021, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/D1SM00554E

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