Aggregation and segregation of confined active particles†
We simulate a model of self-propelled disks with soft repulsive interactions confined to a box in two dimensions. For small rotational diffusion rates, monodisperse disks spontaneously accumulate at the walls. At low densities, interaction forces between particles are strongly inhomogeneous, and a simple model predicts how these inhomogeneities alter the equation of state. At higher densities, collective effects become important. We observe signatures of a jamming transition at a packing fraction ϕ ∼ 0.88, which is also the jamming point for non-active athermal monodisperse disks. At this ϕ, the system develops a critical finite active speed necessary for wall aggregation. At packing fractions above ϕ ∼ 0.6, the pressure decreases with increasing density, suggesting that strong interactions between particles are affecting the equation of state well below the jamming transition. A mixture of bidisperse disks segregates in the absence of any adhesion, identifying a new mechanism that could contribute to cell sorting in embryonic development.