Interfacial aggregation of self-propelled Janus colloids in sessile droplets

Maziyar Jalaal, Borge ten Hagen, Hai Le The, Christian Diddens, Detlef Lohse, Alvaro Marin

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Living microorg anisms in confined systems typically experience an affinity to populate boundaries. The reason for such affinity to interfaces can be a combination of their directed motion and hydrodynamic interactions at distances larger than their own size. Here we will show that self-propelled Janus particles (polystyrene particles partially coated with platinum) immersed in droplets of water and hydrogen peroxide tend to accumulate in the vicinity of the liquid/gas interface. Interestingly, the interfacial accumulation occurs despite the presence of an evaporation-driven flow caused by a solutal Marangoni flow, which typically tends to redistribute the particles within the droplet's bulk. By performing additional experiments with passive colloids (flow tracers) and comparing with numerical simulations for both particle active motion and the fluid flow, we disentangle the dominating mechanisms behind the observed interfacial particle accumulation. These results allow us to make an analogy between active Janus particles and some biological microswimmers concerning how they interact with their environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110514
JournalPhysical review fluids
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


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