University of Cambridge > > DAMTP BioLunch > Active particles powered by Quincke rotation in a bulk fluid

Active particles powered by Quincke rotation in a bulk fluid

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Dielectric particles suspended in a weakly conducting fluid are known to spontaneously start rotating under the action of a sufficiently strong uniform DC electric field due to the Quincke rotation instability. This rotation can be converted into translation when the particles are placed near a surface providing useful model systems for active matter. Using a combination of numerical simulations and theoretical models, we demonstrate that it is possible to convert the spontaneous Quincke rotation into spontaneous translation even in the absence of surfaces by relying on geometrical asymmetry instead. Suspensions of randomly-shaped particles under Quincke rotation are thus expected to perform collective motion by exploring the full three-dimensional space as the swimming direction is unspecified, thereby, opening doors to a potentially new type of active matter.

This talk is part of the DAMTP BioLunch series.

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