Volume 108, Number 5, December 2014
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties|
|Published online||16 December 2014|
Motility-induced phase separation in an active dumbbell fluid
1 Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Bari, and Sezione INFN di Bari - 70126 Bari, Italy
2 SUPA, School of Physics, University of Edinburgh - Edinburgh EH9 3JZ, UK
3 Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia and Sezione INFN di Padova, Università di Padova - 35131 Padova, Italy
Received: 1 September 2014
Accepted: 17 November 2014
We study a suspension of active dumbbells of variable density, as a minimal example of an active polar fluid. As in a fluid of spherical swimmers, we find that motility triggers a nonequilibrium phase separation if the density exceeds a critical threshold. We also show that the phase separation is lost when the active force becomes too large, ultimately due to inertial effects. Remarkably, the aggregates which assemble spontaneously break chiral symmetry and rotate; they also display a nematic ordering with spiral patterns.
PACS: 64.75.Xc – Phase separation and segregation in colloidal systems / 47.63.Gd – Swimming microorganisms / 87.18.Hf – Spatiotemporal pattern formation in cellular populations
© EPLA, 2014
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