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Dimensionality matters in the collective behaviour of active emulsions

  • Carsten KrügerEmail author
  • Christian Bahr
  • Stephan Herminghaus
  • Corinna C. Maass
Open Access
Regular Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Nonequilibrium Collective Dynamics in Condensed and Biological Matter

Abstract.

The behaviour of artificial microswimmers consisting of droplets of a mesogenic oil immersed in an aqueous surfactant solution depends qualitatively on the conditions of dimensional confinement; ranging from only transient aggregates in Hele-Shaw geometries to hexagonally packed, convection-driven clusters when sedimenting in an unconfined reservoir. We study the effects of varying the swimmer velocity, the height of the reservoir, and the buoyancy of the droplet swimmers. Two simple adjustments of the experimental setting lead to a suppression of clustering: either a decrease of the reservoir height below a certain value, or a match of the densities of droplets and surrounding phase, showing that the convection is the key mechanism for the clustering behaviour.

Graphical abstract

Keywords

Topical Issue: Nonequilibrium Collective Dynamics in Condensed and Biological Matter 

Notes

Open access funding provided by Max Planck Society (or associated institution if applicable).

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carsten Krüger
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christian Bahr
    • 1
  • Stephan Herminghaus
    • 1
  • Corinna C. Maass
    • 1
  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization (MPIDS)GöttingenGermany

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