Dynamic clustering of driven colloidal particles on a circular path

Shogo Okubo, Syuhei Shibata, Yuriko Sassa Kawamura, Masatoshi Ichikawa, Yasuyuki Kimura

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9 Citations (Scopus)


We studied the collective motion of particles forced to move along a circular path in water by utilizing an optical vortex. Their collective motion, including the spontaneous formation of clusters and their dissociation, was observed. The observed temporal patterns depend on the number of particles on the path and the variation of their sizes. The addition of particles with different sizes suppresses the dynamic formation and dissociation of clusters and promotes the formation of specific stationary clusters. These experimental findings are reproduced by numerical simulations that take into account the hydrodynamic interaction between the particles and the radial trapping force confining the particles to the circular path. A transition between stationary and nonstationary clustering of the particles was observed by varying their size ratio in the binary-size systems. Our simulation reveals that the transition can be either continuous or discontinuous depending on the number of different-size particles. This result suggests that the size distribution of particles has a significant effect on the collective behavior of self-propelled particles in viscous fluids.

Original languageEnglish
Article number032303
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 8 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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