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Updated in 11/13/2018 8:32:59 AM      Viewed: 405 times      (Journal Article)

Bipul Biswas , Raj Kumar Manna , Abhrajit Laskar , P B Sunil Kumar , Ronojoy Adhikari , Guruswamy Kumaraswamy
Active colloids are not constrained by equilibrium: ballistic propulsion, superdiffusive behavior, or enhanced diffusivities have been reported for active Janus particles. At high concentrations, interactions between active colloids give rise to complex emergent behavior. Their collective dynamics result in the formation of several hundred particle-strong flocks or swarms. Here, we demonstrate significant diffusivity enhancement for colloidal objects that neither have a Janus architecture nor are at high concentrations. We employ uniformly catalyst-coated, viz. chemo-mechanically, isotropic colloids and link them into a chain to enforce proximity. Activity arises from hydrodynamic interactions between enchained colloidal beads due to reaction-induced phoretic flows catalyzed by platinum nanoparticles on the colloid surface. This results in diffusivity enhancements of up to 60% for individual chains in dilute solution. Chains with increasing flexibility exhibit higher diffusivities. Simulations accounting for hydrodynamic interactions between enchained colloids due to active phoretic flows accurately capture the experimental diffusivity. These simulations reveal that the enhancement in diffusivity can be attributed to the interplay between chain conformational fluctuations and activity. Our results show that activity can be used to systematically modulate the mobility of soft slender bodies.