Active colloids with collective mobility status and research opportunities
The collective mobility of active matter (self-propelled objects that transduce energy into mechanical work to drive their motion, most commonly through fluids) constitutes a new frontier in science and achievable technology. This review surveys the current status of the research field, what kinds of new scientific problems can be tackled in the short term, and what long-term directions are envisioned. We focus on: (1) attempts to formulate design principles to tailor active particles; (2) attempts to design principles according to which active particles interact under circumstances where particle–particle interactions of traditional colloid science are augmented by a family of nonequilibrium effects discussed here; (3) attempts to design intended patterns of collective behavior and dynamic assembly; (4) speculative links to equilibrium thermodynamics. In each aspect, we assess achievements, limitations, and research opportunities.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Chemical systems out of equilibrium