Multiple phoretic mechanisms in the self-propulsion of a Pt-insulator Janus swimmer

Yahaya Ibrahim, Ramin Golestanian, Tanniemola Liverpool

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
337 Downloads (Pure)


We present a detailed theoretical study which demonstrates that electrokinetic effects can also play a role in the motion of metallic-insulator spherical Janus particles. Essential to our analysis is the identification of the fact that the reaction rates depend on Pt-coating thickness and that the thickness of coating varies from pole to equator of the coated hemisphere. We find that their motion is due to a combination of neutral and ionic-diffusiophoretic as well as electrophoretic effects whose interplay can be changed by varying the ionic properties of the fluid. This has great potential significance for optimizing performance of designed synthetic swimmers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-352
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Early online date13 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2017

Structured keywords

  • BrisSynBio
  • Bristol BioDesign Institute


  • biological fluid dynamics
  • micro-/nano-fluid dynamics
  • propulsion
  • Synthetic Biology


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