Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Autophoretic locomotion from geometric asymmetry

Abstract : Among the few methods which have been proposed to create small-scale swimmers, those relying on self-phoretic mechanisms present an interesting design challenge in that chemical gradients are required to generate net propulsion. Building on recent work, we propose that asymmetries in geometry are sufficient to induce chemical gradients and swimming. We illustrate this idea using two different calculations. We first calculate exactly the self-propulsion speed of a system composed of two spheres of unequal sizes but identically chemically homogeneous. We then consider arbitrary, small-amplitude, shape deformations of a chemically homogeneous sphere, and calculate asymptotically the self-propulsion velocity induced by the shape asymmetries. Our results demonstrate how geometric asymmetries can be tuned to induce large locomotion speeds without the need of chemical patterning.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Denis Roura Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 1:59:13 PM
Last modification on : Monday, October 26, 2020 - 2:50:03 PM

Links full text



Sébastien Michelin, Eric Lauga. Autophoretic locomotion from geometric asymmetry. European Physical Journal E: Soft matter and biological physics, EDP Sciences: EPJ, 2015, 38 (2), pp.7. ⟨10.1140/epje/i2015-15007-6⟩. ⟨hal-01140759⟩



Record views