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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Physics and Astronomy