Cooperative motion of active Brownian spheres in three-dimensional dense suspensions
Theoretical Soft Matter and Biophysics, Institute for Advanced Simulation and Institute of Complex Systems, Forschungszentrum Jülich - 52425 Jülich, Germany
Received: 25 November 2013
Accepted: 18 February 2014
The structural and dynamical properties of suspensions of self-propelled Brownian particles of spherical shape are investigated in three spatial dimensions. Our simulations reveal a phase separation into a dilute and a dense phase, above a certain density and strength of self-propulsion. The packing fraction of the dense phase approaches random close packing at high activity, yet the system remains fluid. Although no alignment mechanism exists in this model, we find long-lived cooperative motion of particles in the dense regime. This behavior is probably due to an interface-induced sorting process. Spatial displacement correlation functions are nearly scale free for systems with densities close to or above the glass transition density of passive systems.
PACS: 82.70.Dd – Colloids / 64.75.Xc – Phase separation and segregation in colloidal systems / 47.63.Gd – Swimming microorganisms
© EPLA, 2014