Asymmetric nanoparticle may go “active” at room temperature



Using molecular dynamics simulations, we show that an asymmetrically shaped nanoparticle in dilute solution possesses a spontaneously curved trajectory within a finite time interval, instead of the generally expected random walk. This unexpected dynamic behavior has a similarity to that of active matters, such as swimming bacteria, cells, or even fish, but is of a different physical origin. The key to the curved trajectory lies in the non-zero resultant force originated from the imbalance of the collision forces acted by surrounding solvent molecules on the asymmetrically shaped nanoparticle during its orientation regulation. Theoretical formulae based on microscopic observations have been derived to describe this non-zero force and the resulting motion of the asymmetrically shaped nanoparticle.


asymmetric nanoparticle curved trajectory active 


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Interfacial Water and Key Laboratory of Interfacial Physics and Technology, Shanghai Institute of Applied PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesShanghaiChina
  2. 2.College of Physics Science and TechnologyYangzhou UniversityJiangsuChina
  3. 3.School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational SciencesUniversity of ReadingReadingUK

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