Active Brownian particles in random and porous environments

F Moore and J Russo and TB Liverpool and CP Royall, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 158, 104907 (2023).

DOI: 10.1063/5.0131340

The transport of active particles may occur in complex environments, in which it emerges from the interplay between the mobility of the active components and the quenched disorder of the environment. Here, we explore the structural and dynamical properties of active Brownian particles (ABPs) in random environments composed of fixed obstacles in three dimensions. We consider different arrangements of the obstacles. In particular, we consider two particular situations corresponding to experimentally realizable settings. First, we model pinning particles in (non-overlapping) random positions and, second, in a percolating gel structure and provide an extensive characterization of the structure and dynamics of ABPs in these complex environments. We find that the confinement increases the heterogeneity of the dynamics, with new populations of absorbed and localized particles appearing close to the obstacles. This heterogeneity has a profound impact on the motility induced phase separation exhibited by the particles at high activity, ranging from nucleation and growth in random disorder to a complex phase separation in porous environments.

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