Swimming droplets: squirmers, topological droplets and their collective dances

Condensed Matter lunchtime seminar

Swimming droplets: squirmers, topological droplets and their collective dances

  • Event time: 1:00pm
  • Event date: 17th June 2013
  • Speaker: Shashi Thutupalli (Princeton University)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details

I will talk about two experimental systems both related to self-propelled microdroplets and their collective dynamics.

In the first part, I present results about microswimmers made from water-in-oil emulsion droplets. Following a brief description of their swimming mechanism, I will discuss some of the collective effects that emerge in quasi 1 and 2 dimensional confinements of swimming droplets. Specifically, I dwell on hydrodynamic and volume exclusion interactions, only through which these droplets can couple their motions.

In the second part, the focus will be on recent results on topological microswimmers made from droplets of thermotropic liquid crystals. Specifically, I will show how the liquid crystalline phase and ordering within the droplets can be tuned to affect their motions qualitatively and quantitatively -- while nematic and isotropic phase droplets swim, smectic phase droplets do not and chiral droplets twist in helical paths.

About Condensed Matter lunchtime seminars

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.