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Experimental Study of the Motion of Patchy Particle Swimmers Near a Wall

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posted on 07.11.2018, 00:00 by Zohreh Jalilvand, Amar B. Pawar, Ilona Kretzschmar
In this work, we demonstrate our ability to precisely tailor the surface activity of self-propelled active colloids by varying the size of the active area. The quasi two-dimensional autonomous motion of spherical patchy particle swimmers is studied in a chemical environment in the vicinity of a solid boundary. Oxidative decomposition of hydrogen peroxide into oxygen and water occurs only on a well-defined Pt-coated section of the polystyrene particle surface. The asymmetric distribution of product molecules interacting with the particle leads to the autonomous motion, which is characterized as the patch size varies from 11 to 25 to 50% of the particle surface area. The phoretic motion of patchy particle swimmers is analytically predicted by a model developed by Popescu et al. and shows good agreement with the experimentally observed velocities when the influence of the wall on the preferential rotational motion of the particles near the solid boundary is considered. The study illustrates the potential to precisely engineer the motion of particles by controlling their properties rather than depending on changes in the environment.