Self-motile colloidal particles: from directed propulsion to random walk.
- The motion of an artificial microscale swimmer that uses a chemical reaction catalyzed on its own surface to achieve autonomous propulsion is fully characterized experimentally. It is shown that at short times it has a substantial component of directed motion, with a velocity that depends on the concentration of fuel molecules. At longer times, the motion reverts to a random walk with a substantially enhanced diffusion coefficient. Our results suggest strategies for designing artificial chemotactic systems.
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This is an experimental paper, due to appear in Phys. Rev. Lett.
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