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Change the Collective Behaviors of Colloidal Motors by Tuning Electrohydrodynamic Flow at the Subparticle Level

By Xingfu Yang (1984618) and Ning Wu (132667)


As demonstrated in biological systems, breaking the symmetry of surrounding hydrodynamic flow is the key to achieve autonomous locomotion of microscopic objects. In recent years, a variety of synthetic motors have been developed based on different propulsion mechanisms. Most work, however, focuses on the propulsion of individual motors. Here, we study the collective behaviors of colloidal dimers actuated by a perpendicularly applied AC electric field, which controls the electrohydrodynamic flow at subparticle levels. Although these motors experience strong dipolar repulsion from each other and are highly active, surprisingly, they assemble into a family of stable planar clusters with handedness. We show that this type of unusual structure arises from the contractile hydrodynamic flow around small lobes but extensile flow around the large lobes. We further reveal that the collective behavior, assembled structure, and assembly dynamics of these motors all depend on the specific directions of electrohydrodynamic flow surrounding each lobe of the dimers. By fine-tuning the surface charge asymmetry on particles and salt concentration in solution, we demonstrate the ability to control their collective behaviors on demand. This novel type of active assembly via hydrodynamic interactions has the potential to grow monodisperse clusters in a self-limiting fashion. The underlying concept revealed in this work should also apply to other types of active and asymmetric particles

Topics: Biotechnology, Plant Biology, Virology, Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified, Chemical Sciences not elsewhere classified, Physical Sciences not elsewhere classified, cluster, contractile hydrodynamic flow, Tuning Electrohydrodynamic Flow, motor, propulsion, type, AC, dimers, assembly, lobe, surface charge asymmetry, electrohydrodynamic flow
Year: 2017
DOI identifier: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.7b02793.s006
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Provided by: FigShare
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