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Journal Article

First-passage statistics of colloids on fractals: Theory and experimental realization


Godec,  A.
Research Group of Mathematical Biophysics, Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Zunke, C., Bewerunge, J., Platten, F., Egelhaaf, S. U., & Godec, A. (2022). First-passage statistics of colloids on fractals: Theory and experimental realization. Science Advances, 8(3): eabk0627. doi:10.1126/sciadv.abk0627.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-65CA-1
In nature and technology, particle dynamics frequently occur in complex environments, for example in restricted geometries or crowded media. These dynamics have often been modeled invoking a fractal structure of the medium although the fractal structure was only indirectly inferred through the dynamics. Moreover, systematic studies have not yet been performed. Here, colloidal particles moving in a laser speckle pattern are used as a model system. In this case, the experimental observations can be reliably traced to the fractal structure of the underlying medium with an adjustable fractal dimension. First-passage time statistics reveal that the particles explore the speckle in a self-similar, fractal manner at least over four decades in time and on length scales up to 20 times the particle radius. The requirements for fractal diffusion to be applicable are laid out, and methods to extract the fractal dimension are established.