Organizing bacterial vortex lattices by periodic obstacle arrays

Henning Reinken, Daiki Nishiguchi, Sebastian Heidenreich, Andrey Sokolov, Markus Bär, Sabine H.L. Klapp, Igor S. Aranson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Recent experiments have shown that the complex spatio-temporal vortex structures emerging in active fluids are susceptible to weak geometrical constraints. This observation poses the fundamental question of how boundary effects stabilize a highly ordered pattern from seemingly turbulent motion. Here we show, by a combination of continuum theory and experiments on a bacterial suspension, how artificial obstacles guide the flow profile and reorganize topological defects, which enables the design of bacterial vortex lattices with tunable properties. To this end, the continuum model is extended by appropriate boundary conditions. Beyond the stabilization of square and hexagonal lattices, we also provide a striking example of a chiral, antiferromagnetic lattice exhibiting a net rotational flow, which is induced by arranging the obstacles in a Kagome-like array.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number76
JournalCommunications Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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