Self-Motile Colloidal Particles: From Directed Propulsion to Random Walk

Jonathan R. Howse*, Richard A L Jones, Anthony J. Ryan, Tim Gough, Reza Vafabakhsh, Ramin Golestanian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1472 Scopus citations


The motion of an artificial microscale swimmer that uses a chemical reaction catalyzed on its own surface to achieve autonomous propulsion is fully characterized experimentally. It is shown that at short times it has a substantial component of directed motion, with a velocity that depends on the concentration of fuel molecules. At longer times, the motion reverts to a random walk with a substantially enhanced diffusion coefficient. Our results suggest strategies for designing artificial chemotactic systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number048102
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 27 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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