CUED Publications database

Guiding microscale swimmers using teardrop-shaped posts.

Davies Wykes, MS and Zhong, X and Tong, J and Adachi, T and Liu, Y and Ristroph, L and Ward, MD and Shelley, MJ and Zhang, J (2017) Guiding microscale swimmers using teardrop-shaped posts. Soft Matter, 13. pp. 4681-4688.

Full text not available from this repository.


The swimming direction of biological or artificial microscale swimmers tends to be randomised over long time-scales by thermal fluctuations. Bacteria use various strategies to bias swimming behaviour and achieve directed motion against a flow, maintain alignment with gravity or travel up a chemical gradient. Herein, we explore a purely geometric means of biasing the motion of artificial nanorod swimmers. These artificial swimmers are bimetallic rods, powered by a chemical fuel, which swim on a substrate printed with teardrop-shaped posts. The artificial swimmers are hydrodynamically attracted to the posts, swimming alongside the post perimeter for long times before leaving. The rods experience a higher rate of departure from the higher curvature end of the teardrop shape, thereby introducing a bias into their motion. This bias increases with swimming speed and can be translated into a macroscopic directional motion over long times by using arrays of teardrop-shaped posts aligned along a single direction. This method provides a protocol for concentrating swimmers, sorting swimmers according to different speeds, and could enable artificial swimmers to transport cargo to desired locations.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Div A > Fluid Mechanics
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2018 20:19
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2021 00:46
DOI: 10.1039/c7sm00203c