Self-assembly of Janus particles under shear
We investigate the self-assembly of colloidal Janus particles under shear flow by employing hybrid molecular dynamics simulations that explicitly take into account hydrodynamic interactions. Under quiescent conditions, the amphiphilic colloids form spherical micellar aggregates of different sizes, where the solvophobic hemispheres are directed towards the core and the solvophilic caps are exposed to the solvent. When sufficiently strong shear is applied, the micelles disaggregate with a consequent decay of the average cluster size. Nonetheless, we find an intermediate shear rate regime where the balance between rearrangement and dissociation favors the growth of the aggregates. Additionally, our simulations show that clusters composed of either 6 or 13 particles are the most stable towards the shear flow due to their high geometric symmetry. Our findings open up a new range of applications for Janus particles, ranging from biotechnology to sensor systems.