The propulsion mechanism of catalytic Janus swimmers

Condensed Matter lunchtime seminar

The propulsion mechanism of catalytic Janus swimmers

  • Event time: 1:00pm
  • Event date: 4th March 2013
  • Speaker: (School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Edinburgh)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details

A catalytic swimmer consisting of a platinum/polystyrene Janus sphere in hydrogen peroxide has previously been observed to swim towards its polystyrene half. We have found that adding a small amount of charged surfactant can make the swimmer reverse direction. This result demonstrates that the current models for these swimmers' propulsion mechanism are inadequate, since they only predict propulsion in one direction. In this seminar I'll discuss the ongoing effort to work out what is really going on here.

This is a weekly series of informal talks given primarily by members of the soft condensed matter and statistical mechanics groups, but is also open to members of other groups and external visitors. The aim of the series is to promote discussion and learning of various topics at a level suitable to the broad background of the group. Everyone is welcome to attend..

Find out more about Condensed Matter lunchtime seminars.