skip to main content

Attention:

The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 5:00 PM ET until 11:00 PM ET on Friday, June 21 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Title: Directed propulsion of spherical particles along three dimensional helical trajectories
Abstract

Active colloids are a class of microparticles that ‘swim’ through fluids by breaking the symmetry of the force distribution on their surfaces. Our ability to direct these particles along complex trajectories in three-dimensional (3D) space requires strategies to encode the desired forces and torques at the single particle level. Here, we show that spherical colloids with metal patches of low symmetry self-propel along non-linear 3D trajectories when powered remotely by an alternating current (AC) electric field. In particular, particles with triangular patches of approximate mirror symmetry trace helical paths along the axis of the field. We demonstrate that the speed and shape of the particle’s trajectory can be tuned by the applied field strength and the patch geometry. We show that helical motion can enhance particle transport through porous materials with implications for the design of microrobots that can navigate complex environments.

 
more » « less
NSF-PAR ID:
10153415
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Nature Publishing Group
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Volume:
10
Issue:
1
ISSN:
2041-1723
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Flow-based manipulation of particles is an essential tool for studying soft materials, but prior work has nearly exclusively relied on using two-dimensional (2D) flows generated in planar microfluidic geometries. In this work, we demonstrate 3D trapping and manipulation of freely suspended particles, droplets, and giant unilamellar vesicles in 3D flow fields using automated flow control. Three-dimensional flow fields including uniaxial extension and biaxial extension are generated in 3D-printed fluidic devices combined with active feedback control for particle manipulation in 3D. Flow fields are characterized using particle tracking velocimetry complemented by finite-element simulations for all flow geometries. Single colloidal particles (3.4 μm diameter) are confined in low viscosity solvent (1.0 mPa s) near the stagnation points of uniaxial and biaxial extensional flow for long times (≥10 min) using active feedback control. Trap stiffness is experimentally determined by analyzing the power spectral density of particle position fluctuations. We further demonstrate precise manipulation of colloidal particles along user-defined trajectories in three dimensions using automated flow control. Newtonian liquid droplets and GUVs are trapped and deformed in precisely controlled uniaxial and biaxial extensional flows, which is a new demonstration for 3D flow fields. Overall, this work extends flow-based manipulation of particles and droplets to three dimensions, thereby enabling quantitative analysis of colloids and soft materials in complex nonequilibrium flows. 
    more » « less
  2. An accurate description of plasma waves is fundamental for the understanding of many plasma phenomena. It is possible to twist plasma waves such that, in addition to having longitudinal motion, they can possess a quantized orbital angular momentum. One such type of plasma wave is the Laguerre–Gaussian mode. Three-dimensional numerical particle-in-cell simulations demonstrate the existence of stable long-lived plasma waves with orbital angular momentum. These waves can be shown to create large amplitude static magnetic fields with unique twisted longitudinal structures. In this paper, we review the recent progress in studies of helical plasma waves and present a new analytical description of a standing Laguerre–Gaussian plasma wave mode along with 3D particle-in-cell simulation results. The Landau damping of twisted plasma waves shows important differences compared to standard longitudinal plasma wave Landau damping. These effects include an increased damping rate, which is affected by both the focal width and the orbital number of the plasma wave. This increase in the damping rate is of the same order as the thermal correction. Moreover, the direction of momentum picked up by resonant particles from the twisted plasma wave can be significantly altered. By contrast, the radial electric field has a subtle effect on the trajectories of resonant electrons. 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Food resources in the ocean are often found in low densities, and need to be concentrated for efficient consumption. This is done in part by oceanographic features transporting and locally concentrating plankton, creating a highly patchy resource. Lagrangian approaches applied to ocean dynamics can identify these transport features, linking Lagrangian transport and spatial ecology. However, little is known about how Lagrangian approaches perform in ageostrophic coastal flows. This study evaluates two Lagrangian Coherent Structure metrics against the distribution of phytoplankton; Finite Time Lyapunov Exponents (FTLE) and Relative Particle Density (RPD). FTLE and RPD are applied to High Frequency Radar (HFR) observed surface currents within a biological hotspot, Palmer Deep Canyon Antarctica. FTLE and RPD identify different transport patterns, with RPD mapping single particle trajectories and FTLE tracking relative motion of paired particles. Simultaneous measurements of circulation and phytoplankton were gathered through the integration of vessel and autonomous glider surveys within the HFR footprint. Results show FTLE better defined phytoplankton patches compared to RPD, with the strongest associations occurring in stratified conditions, suggesting that phytoplankton congregate along FTLE ridges in coastal flows. This quantified relationship between circulation and phytoplankton patches emphasizes the role of transport in the maintenance of coastal food webs.

     
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    Janus particles are widely sought for applications related to colloidal assembly, stabilization of emulsions, and development of active colloids, among others. Here we report a versatile route to the fabrication of well‐controlled Janus particles by simply breaking the symmetry of spherical particles with swelling. When a polystyrene (PS) sphere covered by a rigid shell made of silica or polydopamine is exposed to a good solvent for PS, a gradually increased pressure will be created inside the shell. If the pressure becomes high enough to poke a hole in the shell, the spherical symmetry will break while pushing out the swollen PS through the opening to generate a Janus particle comprised of two distinct components. One of the components is made of PS and its size is controlled by the extent of swelling. The other component is comprised of the rigid shell and remaining PS, with its overall diameter determined by the original PS sphere and the rigid shell. This solution‐based route holds promises for the scalable production of complex Janus particles with a variety of compositions and in large quantities.

     
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    Janus particles are widely sought for applications related to colloidal assembly, stabilization of emulsions, and development of active colloids, among others. Here we report a versatile route to the fabrication of well‐controlled Janus particles by simply breaking the symmetry of spherical particles with swelling. When a polystyrene (PS) sphere covered by a rigid shell made of silica or polydopamine is exposed to a good solvent for PS, a gradually increased pressure will be created inside the shell. If the pressure becomes high enough to poke a hole in the shell, the spherical symmetry will break while pushing out the swollen PS through the opening to generate a Janus particle comprised of two distinct components. One of the components is made of PS and its size is controlled by the extent of swelling. The other component is comprised of the rigid shell and remaining PS, with its overall diameter determined by the original PS sphere and the rigid shell. This solution‐based route holds promises for the scalable production of complex Janus particles with a variety of compositions and in large quantities.

     
    more » « less