Active particle diffusion in convection roll arrays
Undesired advection effects are unavoidable in most nano-technological applications involving active matter. However, it is conceivable to govern the transport of active particles at the small scales by suitably tuning the relevant advection and self-propulsion parameters. To this purpose, we numerically investigated the Brownian motion of active Janus particles in a linear array of planar counter-rotating convection rolls at high Péclet numbers. Similarly to passive particles, active microswimmers exhibit advection enhanced diffusion, but only for self-propulsion speeds up to a critical value. The diffusion of faster Janus particles is governed by advection along the array's edges, whereby distinct diffusion regimes are observed and characterized. Contrary to passive particles, the relevant spatial distributions of active Janus particles are inhomogeneous. These peculiar properties of active matter are related to the combined action of noise and self-propulsion in a confined geometry and hold regardless of the actual flow boundary conditions.