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Issue 9, 2019
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Study of active Brownian particle diffusion in polymer solutions

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The diffusion behavior of an active Brownian particle (ABP) in polymer solutions is studied using Langevin dynamics simulations. We find that the long time diffusion coefficient D can show a non-monotonic dependence on the particle size R if the active force Fa is large enough, wherein a bigger particle would diffuse faster than a smaller one which is quite counterintuitive. By analyzing the short time dynamics in comparison to the passive one, we find that such non-trivial dependence results from the competition between persistent motion of the ABP and the length-scale dependent effective viscosity that the particle experiences in the polymer solution. We have also introduced an effective viscosity ηeff experienced by the ABP phenomenologically. Such an active ηeff is found to be larger than a passive one and strongly depends on R and Fa. In addition, we find that the dependence of D on propelling force Fa presents a good power-law scaling at a fixed R and the scaling factor changes non-monotonically with R. Such results demonstrate that the active process plays rather subtle roles in the diffusion of nano-particles in complex solutions.

Graphical abstract: Study of active Brownian particle diffusion in polymer solutions

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Publication details

The article was received on 09 Nov 2018, accepted on 17 Jan 2019 and first published on 18 Jan 2019

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM02292E
Citation: Soft Matter, 2019,15, 2020-2031

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    Study of active Brownian particle diffusion in polymer solutions

    Y. Du, H. Jiang and Z. Hou, Soft Matter, 2019, 15, 2020
    DOI: 10.1039/C8SM02292E

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