Main content area

Transition from Linear to Circular Motion in Active Spherical-Cap Colloids

Shelke, Yogesh, Srinivasan, N. R., Thampi, Sumesh P., Mani, Ethayaraja
Langmuir 2019 v.35 no.13 pp. 4718-4725
colloids, fuels, hydrogen peroxide
Nonspherical self-propelling colloidal particles offer many possibilities for creating a variety of active motions. In this work, we report on the transition from linear to circular motion of active spherical-cap particles near a substrate. Self-propulsion is induced by self-diffusiophoresis by catalytic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide (H₂O₂) on one side of the particle. Asymmetric distribution of reaction products combined with the asymmetric shape of the particle gives rise to two types of motions depending upon the relative orientation of the particle with respect to the underlying substrate. At a low concentration of H₂O₂, linear active motion is observed, whereas increasing the H₂O₂ concentration leads to persistent circular motion. However, the speed of self-propulsion is nearly independent of the size of the particle. The study demonstrates the use of nonspherical particles to create linear and circular motion by varying the fuel concentration.