Self-assembly of active attractive spheres†
We study the self-assembly of a system of self-propelled, Lennard-Jones particles using Brownian dynamics simulations. We examine the state diagrams of the system for different rotational diffusion coefficients of the self-propelled motion of the particles. For fast rotational diffusion, the state diagram exhibits a strong similarity to that of the equilibrium Lennard-Jones fluid. As we decrease the rotational diffusion coefficient, the state diagram is slowly transformed. Specifically, the liquid–gas coexistence region is gradually replaced by a highly dynamic percolating network state. We find significant local alignment of the particles in the percolating network state despite the absence of aligning interactions, and propose a simple mechanism to justify the formation of this novel state.