Tuesday, May 21, 2013

1305.4185 (Ivo Buttinoni et al.)

Dynamical clustering and phase separation in suspensions of
self-propelled colloidal particles

Ivo Buttinoni, Julian Bialké, Felix Kümmel, Hartmut Löwen, Clemens Bechinger, Thomas Speck
We study experimentally and numerically a (quasi) two dimensional colloidal suspension of self-propelled spherical particles. The particles are carbon-coated Janus particles, which are propelled due to diffusiophoresis in a near-critical water-lutidine mixture. At low densities, we find that the driving stabilizes small clusters. At higher densities, the suspension undergoes a phase separation into large clusters and a dilute gas phase. The same qualitative behavior is observed in simulations of a minimal model for repulsive self-propelled particles lacking any alignment interactions. The observed behavior is rationalized in terms of a dynamical instability due to the self-trapping of self-propelled particles.
View original: http://arxiv.org/abs/1305.4185

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