Steering particles by breaking symmetries

Bram Bet, Sela Samin, Rumen Georgiev, Huseyin Burak Eral, René Van Roij

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
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We derive general equations of motions for highly-confined particles that perform quasi-two-dimensional motion in Hele-Shaw channels, which we solve analytically, aiming to derive design principles for self-steering particles. Based on symmetry properties of a particle, its equations of motion can be simplified, where we retrieve an earlier-known equation of motion for the orientation of dimer particles consisting of disks (Uspal et al 2013 Nat. Commun. 4), but now in full generality. Subsequently, these solutions are compared with particle trajectories that are obtained numerically. For mirror-symmetric particles, excellent agreement between the analytical and numerical solutions is found. For particles lacking mirror symmetry, the analytic solutions provide means to classify the motion based on particle geometry, while we find that taking the side-wall interactions into account is important to accurately describe the trajectories.

Original languageEnglish
Article number224002
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

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  • Hele-Shaw channels
  • microfluidics
  • self-steering particles


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