Reactive Momentum Transfer Contributes to the Self-Propulsion of Janus Particles

Shaltiel Eloul, Wilson C.K. Poon, Oded Farago, Daan Frenkel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


We report simulations of a spherical Janus particle undergoing exothermic surface reactions around one pole only. Our model excludes self-phoretic transport by design. Nevertheless, net motion occurs from direct momentum transfer between solvent and colloid, with speed scaling as the square root of the energy released during the reaction. We find that such propulsion is dominated by the system's short-time response, when neither the time dependence of the flow around the colloid nor the solvent compressibility can be ignored. Our simulations agree reasonably well with previous experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number188001
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number18
StatePublished - 8 May 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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