(485a) Encoding Biomimetic 3D Helical Motion in Active Particles Using Induced-Charge Electrophoresis

Authors: 
Lee, J. G., Louisiana State University
Brooks, A. M., Pennsylvania State University
Shelton, W. A. Jr., Louisiana State University
Bishop, K. J. M., Columbia University
Bharti, B., Louisiana State University
Active colloids are a class of microparticles that ‘swim’ through fluids by breaking the symmetry of the force distribution on their surfaces. Our ability to direct these particles along complex trajectories in three-dimensional (3D) space requires strategies to encode the desired forces and torques at the single particle level. Here, we show that spherical colloids with metal patches of low symmetry can be directed along non-linear 3D trajectories when powered remotely by alternating current (AC) electric fields. In particular, particles with triangular patches characterized by a single plane of mirror symmetry trace helical paths along the axis of the field. We show that helical motion can enhance particle transport through porous materials with important implications for the design of microrobots that can navigate complex environments.

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