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Pattern Formation in Catalytic Colloidal Microswimmers

Objective

Self-propelled particles such as bacteria, or 'Janus colloids' partially coated with catalyst, consume energy from their environment and convert it into systematic motion. Interacting ensembles of these particles compose so-called active matter which is intrinsically driven out of thermodynamic equilibrium. This allows for a rich and unusual phenomenology that includes condensation and phase separation in systems with purely repulsive interactions; giant density fluctuations; and various types of self-organized structure formation whose origin lies beyond the equilibrium principle of entropy maximization (free energy minimization). In PFCCMS we propose a novel theoretical study of activity-induced pattern formation with active colloids, addressing the interplay of an anisotropic production of chemicals at the colloidal surfaces and a chemotactic coupling of the particles to the resulting chemical gradients. Careful inclusion of noise within our coarse grained descriptions will enrich the emerging self-organized spatiotemporal structures with phenomena based on nucleation and topological defects. Our findings are expected to inform design principles for activity-induced self-organization of soft materials; we also plan to link them with the physics of gene-surfing and the spatiotemporal organization of bacterial colonies.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/theoretical physics/particles

Call for proposal

H2020-MSCA-IF-2014
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MSCA-IF-EF-ST - Standard EF

Coordinator

THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
Address
Old College, South Bridge
EH8 9YL Edinburgh
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 183 454,80