Fri January 22nd 2016
13:30 – 14:30
Seminar Self-assembled active colloidal molecules
Rodrigo Soto


Catalytically active colloids maintain non-equilibrium conditions in which they produce and de- plete chemicals and hence effectively act as sources and sinks of molecules. While individual colloids that are symmetrically coated do not exhibit any form of dynamical activity, the concentration fields resulting from their chemical activity decay as 1/r and produce gradients that attract or repel other colloids depending on their surface chemistry and ambient variables. This results in a non-equilibrium analogue of ionic systems, but with the remarkable novel feature of action-reaction symmetry breaking. We study solutions of such chemically active colloids in dilute conditions when they join up to form molecules via generalized ionic bonds. Colloids are found to join up to form self-assembled molecules that could be inert or have spontaneous activity in the form of net translational velocity and spin depending on their symmetry properties and their constituents. The type of activity can be adjusted by changing the surface chemistry and ambient variables that control the surface reactions and the phoretic drift. As the interactions do satisfy detailed-balance, it is possible to achieve structures with time dependent functionality. In particular, we study a molecule that adopts a spontaneous oscillatory pattern of conformations, and another that exhibits a run-and-tumble dynamics similar to bacteria. Our study shows that catalytically active colloids could be used for designing self- assembled structures that posses dynamical functionalities that are determined by their prescribed 3D structures.
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The 10th Complex Motion in Fluids 2021
Max Planck Gesellschaft
Centre for Scientific Computing