Dynamic Collective Behavior of Active Colloids
ABSTRACT: Colloidal suspensions are a prototypical example of systems that can be either passive of active. Here, I will demonstrate how various forms of dynamics and different types of interactions result in unexpected and until now largely unexplored aggregation and phase behavior. These observations, obtained through a combination of experiments and computer simulations, reveal striking connections between colloidal self-assembly and collective dynamics, and between dynamic behavior and classical thermodynamics. Moreover, a remarkable variety of collective dynamics can be realized through simple variation of the applied electric fields. These observations provoke new thoughts on the nature of “soft” materials and our ability to manipulate them.