Active particles powered by Quincke rotation in a bulk fluid

Das, Debasish and Lauga, Eric (2019) Active particles powered by Quincke rotation in a bulk fluid. Physical Review Letters, 122 (19). 194503. ISSN 1079-7114 (

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Dielectric particles suspended in a weakly conducting fluid are known to spontaneously start rotating under the action of a sufficiently strong uniform dc electric field due to the Quincke rotation instability. This rotation can be converted into translation when the particles are placed near a surface providing useful model systems for active matter. Using a combination of numerical simulations and theoretical modeling, we demonstrate that it is possible to convert this spontaneous Quincke rotation into spontaneous translation in a plane perpendicular to the electric field in the absence of surfaces by relying on geometrical asymmetry instead.