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Soft Matter. 2016 Oct 12;12(40):8398-8406.

Collective dynamics of chemically active particles trapped at a fluid interface.

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Física Teórica, Universidad de Sevilla, Apdo. 1065, 41080 Sevilla, Spain.
Max-Planck-Institut für Intelligente Systeme, Heisenbergstr. 3, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany and IV. Institut für Theoretische Physik, Universität Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 57, D-70569 Stuttgart, Germany.


Chemically active colloids generate changes in the chemical composition of their surrounding solution and thereby induce flows in the ambient fluid which affect their dynamical evolution. Here we study the many-body dynamics of a monolayer of spherically symmetric active particles trapped at a fluid-fluid interface. To this end we consider a model for the large-scale spatial distribution of particles which incorporates the direct pair interaction (including also the capillary interaction which is caused specifically by the interfacial trapping) as well as the effect of hydrodynamic interactions (including the Marangoni flow induced by the response of the interface to the chemical activity). The values of the relevant physical parameters for typical experimental realizations of such systems are estimated and various scenarios, which are predicted by our approach for the dynamics of the monolayer, are discussed. In particular, we show that the chemically-induced Marangoni flow can prevent the clustering instability driven by the capillary attraction.


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