3 years ago

Entrainment and scattering in microswimmer--colloid interactions.

Henry Shum, Julia M. Yeomans

We use boundary element simulations to study the interaction of model microswimmers with a neutrally buoyant spherical particle. The ratio of the size of the particle to that of the swimmer is varied from $R^\mathrm{P} / R^\mathrm{S} \ll 1$, corresponding to swimmer--tracer scattering, to $R^\mathrm{P} / R^\mathrm{S} \gg 1$, approximately equivalent to the swimmer interacting with a fixed, flat surface. We find that details of the swimmer and particle trajectories vary for different swimmers. However, the overall characteristics of the scattering event fall into two regimes, depending on the relative magnitudes of the impact parameter, $\rho$, and the collision radius, $R^\mathrm{coll}=R^\mathrm{P} + R^\mathrm{S}$. The range of particle motion, defined as the maximum distance between two points on the trajectory, has only a weak dependence on the impact parameter when $\rho < R^\mathrm{coll}$ and decreases with the radius of the particle. In contrast, when $\rho>R^\mathrm{coll}$ the range decreases as a power law in $\rho$ and is insensitive to the size of the particle. We also demonstrate that large particles can cause swimmers to be deflected through large angles. In some instances, this swimmer deflection can lead to larger net displacements of the particle. Based on these results, we estimate the effective diffusivity of a particle in a dilute bath of swimmers and show that there is a non-monotonic dependence on particle radius. Similarly, we show that the effective diffusivity of a swimmer scattering in a suspension of particles varies non-monotonically with particle radius.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1710.11480

DOI: arXiv:1710.11480v1

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