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From Clarkia to Escherichia and Janus: The physics of natural and synthetic active colloids

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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPHYSICS OF COMPLEX COLLOIDS
EditorsC Bechinger, F Sciortino, P Ziherl
Place of PublicationAMSTERDAM
PublisherIOS Press
Pages317-386
Number of pages70
ISBN (Print)978-1-61499-277-6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013
EventInternational School of Physics Enrico Fermi - Varenna, Italy
Duration: 3 Jul 201213 Jul 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International School of Physics Enrico Fermi
PublisherIOS PRESS
Volume184
ISSN (Print)0074-784X

Conference

ConferenceInternational School of Physics Enrico Fermi
CountryItaly
Period3/07/1213/07/12

Abstract

An active colloid is a suspension of particles that transduce free energy from their environment and use the energy to engage in intrinsically non-equilibrium activities such as growth, replication and self-propelled motility. An obvious example of active colloids is a suspension of bacteria such as Escherichia coli, their physical dimensions being almost invariably in the colloidal range. Synthetic self-propelled particles have also become available recently, such as two-faced, or Janus, particles propelled by differential chemical reactions on their surfaces driving a self-phoretic motion. In these lectures, I give a pedagogical introduction to the physics of single-particle and collective properties of active colloids, focussing on self-propulsion. I will compare and contrast phenomena in suspensions of "swimmers" with the behaviour of suspensions of passive particles, where only Brownian motion (discovered by Robert Brown in granules from the pollen of the wild flower Clarkia pulchella) is relevant. I will pay particular attention to issues that pertain to performing experiments using these active particle suspensions, such as how to characterise the suspension's swimming speed distribution, and include an appendix to guide physicists wanting to start culturing motile bacteria.

    Research areas

  • LOW-REYNOLDS-NUMBER, DIFFERENTIAL DYNAMIC MICROSCOPY, PHOTON-CORRELATION SPECTROSCOPY, CATALYTIC NANOMOTORS, AUTONOMOUS MOVEMENT, LIGHT-SCATTERING, BACTERIAL CHEMOTAXIS, HYDROGEN-PEROXIDE, PARTICLE TRACKING, BLUE-LIGHT

Event

International School of Physics Enrico Fermi

3/07/1213/07/12

Italy

Event: Conference

ID: 21294737