Self-diffusiophoresis of chemically active colloids
1 Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Heisenbergstr. 3, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
2 IV. Institut für Theoretische Physik, Universität Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 57, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Received: 20 February 2016
Revised: 19 April 2016
Published online: 10 November 2016
Chemically active colloids locally change the chemical composition of their solvent via catalytic reactions which occur on parts of their surface. They achieve motility by converting the released chemical free energy into mechanical work through various mechanisms, such as phoresis. Here we discuss the theoretical aspects of self-diffusiophoresis, which – despite being one of the simplest motility mechanisms – captures many of the general features characterizing self-phoresis, such as self-generated and maintained hydrodynamic flows “driven” by surface activity induced inhomogeneities in solution. By studying simple examples, which provide physical insight, we highlight the complex phenomenology which can emerge from self-diffusiophoresis.
© The Author(s) 2016
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