The efficiency of self-phoretic propulsion mechanisms with surface reaction heterogeneity

Patrick Kreissl, Christian Holm, Joost de Graaf*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We consider the efficiency of self-phoretic colloidal particles (swimmers) as a function of the heterogeneity in the surface reaction rate. The set of fluid, species, and electrostatic continuity equations is solved analytically using a linearization and numerically using a finite-element method. To compare spherical swimmers of different size and with heterogeneous catalytic conversion rates, a "swimmer efficiency" functional. is introduced. It is proven that in order to obtain maximum swimmer efficiency, the reactivity has to be localized at the pole(s). Our results also shed light on the sensitivity of the propulsion speed to details of the surface reactivity, a property that is notoriously hard to measure. This insight can be utilized in the design of new self-phoretic swimmers. Published by AIP Publishing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number204902
Number of pages9
JournalThe Journal of Chemical Physics
Volume144
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2016

Keywords

  • CATALYTIC NANOMOTORS
  • JANUS SWIMMERS
  • DIFFUSION
  • DELIVERY
  • MOTORS
  • FORCES
  • MICROMOTORS
  • TRANSPORT
  • COLLOIDS
  • NANORODS

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