Forces that control self-organization of chemically-propelled Janus tori

Jiyuan Wang, Mu Jie Huang, Remmi D. Baker-Sediako, Raymond Kapral, Igor S. Aranson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Control of the individual and collective behavior of self-propelled synthetic micro-objects has immediate application for nanotechnology, robotics, and precision medicine. Despite significant progress in the synthesis and characterization of self-propelled Janus (two-faced) particles, predictive understanding of their behavior remains challenging, especially if the particles have anisotropic forms. Here, by using molecular simulation, we describe the interactions of chemically-propelled microtori near a wall. The results show that a torus hovers at a certain distance from the wall due to a combination of gravity and hydrodynamic flows generated by the chemical activity. Moreover, electrostatic dipolar interactions between the torus and the wall result in a spontaneous tilt and horizontal translation, in a qualitative agreement with experiment. Simulations of the dynamics of two and four tori near a wall provide evidence for the formation of stable self-propelled bound states. Our results illustrate that self-organization at the microscale occurs due to a combination of multiple factors, including hydrodynamic, chemical, electrostatic and steric interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number176
JournalCommunications Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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