American Chemical Society
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Self-Propelled Janus Colloids in Shear Flow

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posted on 2020-09-29, 19:08 authored by Bishwa Ranjan Si, Preet Patel, Rahul Mangal
To fully harness the potential of artificial active colloids, investigation of their response to various external stimuli including external flow is of great interest. Therefore, in this study, we perform experiments on SiO2-Pt Janus particles suspended in an aqueous medium in a capillary subjected to different shear flow rates. Particles were propelled using varied H2O2 (fuel) concentrations. For a particular propulsion speed, with increasing shear flow, a continuous transition in the motion of active Janus particles (JPs) from the usual random active motion to preferential movement along the vorticity direction and then finally to migration along the flow was observed. This transition was accompanied by a significant decline in in-plane fluctuations of the particle trajectories. Another key observation is that the activity of JPs produces a delay in shear-induced rolling, which at moderate flow, allows the JPs to adopt a specific orientation, facilitating their migration along the vorticity direction. At higher flow rates, once shear flow overcomes the activity-induced resistance and initiates rolling, the probability of JPs adopting such preferred orientations reduces. Our analysis further revealed that these transitions are governed by a nondimensional quantity λ, which compares the relative strength of the shear-induced particle flow to the propulsion speed.