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Journal Article

Collective behavior of thermally active colloids


Golestanian,  Ramin       
Department of Living Matter Physics, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Golestanian, R. (2012). Collective behavior of thermally active colloids. Physical Review Letters, 108(3): 038303. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.038303.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-787A-0
Colloids with patchy metal coating under laser irradiation could act as local heat sources and generate temperature gradients that could induce self-propulsion and interactions between them. The collective behavior of a dilute solution of such thermally active particles is studied using a stochastic formulation. It is found that when the Soret coefficient is positive, the system could be described in a stationary state by the nonlinear Poisson-Boltzmann equation and could adopt density profiles with significant depletion in the middle region when confined. For colloids with a negative Soret coefficient, the system can be described as a dissipative equivalent of a gravitational system. It is shown that in this case the thermally active colloidal solution could undergo an instability at a critical laser intensity, which has similarities to a supernova explosion. © 2012 American Physical Society.