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Journal Article

Self-propulsion through symmetry breaking

MPS-Authors
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons21881

Mikhailov,  Alexander S.
Physical Chemistry, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;

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Fulltext (public)

1401.1360v1.pdf
(Preprint), 184KB

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Citation

de Buyl, P., Mikhailov, A. S., & Kapral, R. (2013). Self-propulsion through symmetry breaking. EPL, 103(6): 60009. doi:10.1209/0295-5075/103/60009.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0014-BD6F-8
Abstract
In addition to self-propulsion by phoretic mechanisms that arises from an asymmetric distribution of reactive species around a catalytic motor, spherical particles with a uniform distribution of catalytic activity may also propel themselves under suitable conditions. Reactive fluctuation-induced asymmetry can give rise to transient concentration gradients which may persist under certain conditions, giving rise to a bifurcation to self-propulsion. The nature of this phenomenon is analyzed in detail, and particle-level simulations are carried out to demonstrate its existence.