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Issue 11, 2020
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Phase separation and state oscillation of active inertial particles

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Active matter systems are of great interest for their novel out-of-equilibrium collective behavior. Active Brownian particles (ABPs) are known to exhibit clustering and motility-induced phase separation, and there have been many studies revealing this rich behavior in the overdamped limit of Brownian motion, where inertial effects are insignificant. Here we simulate an Active Inertial Particle (AIP) model where we focus on the underdamped, rather than overdamped limit, to study the interplay between particle inertia and collective behavior, such as phase separation. We show that inertia reduces particle motility due to collisions and a longer time delay for particles to regain speed, thereby suppressing phase separation relative to that observed in the overdamped limit. Additionally, we observe interesting oscillatory behavior between a phase separated steady-state and a homogeneous fluid state that results from inertia-induced collective motion within active clusters due to momentum transfer. Such oscillatory behavior has been reported for ABP systems with particle shape anisotropy, where collective motion is mediated by particle shape anisotropy. Furthermore, we confirm that there is no single characteristic frequency for the oscillatory behavior. The power spectral density is a power law in the high frequency domain, with an exponent close to −2.5.

Graphical abstract: Phase separation and state oscillation of active inertial particles

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Article information

20 Aug 2019
21 Jan 2020
First published
13 Feb 2020

Soft Matter, 2020,16, 2847-2853
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Author version available

Phase separation and state oscillation of active inertial particles

C. Dai, I. R. Bruss and S. C. Glotzer, Soft Matter, 2020, 16, 2847
DOI: 10.1039/C9SM01683J

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