Phase Separation and Multibody Effects in Three-Dimensional Active Brownian Particles

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Simulation studies of the phase diagram of repulsive active Brownian particles in three dimensions reveal that the region of motility-induced phase separation between a high and low density phase is enclosed by a region of gas-crystal phase separation. Near-critical loci and structural crossovers can additionally be identified in analogy with simple fluids. Motivated by the striking similarity to the behaviour of equilibrium fluids with short-ranged pair-wise attractions, we show that a direct mapping to pair potentials in the dilute limit implies interactions that are insufficiently attractive to engender phase separation. Instead, this is driven by the emergence of multi-body effects associated with particle caging that occurs at sufficiently high number density. We quantify these effects via information-theoretical measures of $n$-body effective interactions extracted from the configurational structure.
Original languageEnglish
Article number038002
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2021

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    Sadaf R Alam (Manager), Steven A Chapman (Manager), Polly E Eccleston (Other), Simon H Atack (Other) & D A G Williams (Manager)

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