Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 14, 2018
Previous Article Next Article

Collective motion of active Brownian particles with polar alignment

Author affiliations


We present a comprehensive computational study of the collective behavior emerging from the competition between self-propulsion, excluded volume interactions and velocity-alignment in a two-dimensional model of active particles. We consider an extension of the active brownian particles model where the self-propulsion direction of the particles aligns with the one of their neighbors. We analyze the onset of collective motion (flocking) in a low-density regime (10% surface area) and show that it is mainly controlled by the strength of velocity-alignment interactions: the competition between self-propulsion and crowding effects plays a minor role in the emergence of flocking. However, above the flocking threshold, the system presents a richer pattern formation scenario than analogous models without alignment interactions (active brownian particles) or excluded volume effects (Vicsek-like models). Depending on the parameter regime, the structure of the system is characterized by either a broad distribution of finite-sized polar clusters or the presence of an amorphous, highly fluctuating, large-scale traveling structure which can take a lane-like or band-like form (and usually a hybrid structure which is halfway in between both). We establish a phase diagram that summarizes collective behavior of polar active brownian particles and propose a generic mechanism to describe the complexity of the large-scale structures observed in systems of repulsive self-propelled particles.

Graphical abstract: Collective motion of active Brownian particles with polar alignment

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Article information

03 Jan 2018
16 Mar 2018
First published
16 Mar 2018

Soft Matter, 2018,14, 2610-2618
Article type

Collective motion of active Brownian particles with polar alignment

A. Martín-Gómez, D. Levis, A. Díaz-Guilera and I. Pagonabarraga, Soft Matter, 2018, 14, 2610
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00020D

Social activity

Search articles by author