Active Brownian particles moving in a random Lorentz gas
Institut für Theoretische Physik, Technische Universität Berlin, Hardenbergstraße 36, 10623, Berlin, Germany
Accepted: 2 February 2017
Published online: 28 February 2017
Biological microswimmers often inhabit a porous or crowded environment such as soil. In order to understand how such a complex environment influences their spreading, we numerically study non-interacting active Brownian particles (ABPs) in a two-dimensional random Lorentz gas. Close to the percolation transition in the Lorentz gas, they perform the same subdiffusive motion as ballistic and diffusive particles. However, due to their persistent motion they reach their long-time dynamics faster than passive particles and also show superdiffusive motion at intermediate times. While above the critical obstacle density the ABPs are trapped, their long-time diffusion below is strongly influenced by the propulsion speed v0. With increasing v0, ABPs are stuck at the obstacles for longer times. Thus, for large propulsion speed, the long-time diffusion constant decreases more strongly in a denser obstacle environment than for passive particles. This agrees with the behavior of an effective swimming velocity and persistence time, which we extract from the velocity autocorrelation function.
Key words: Soft Matter: Colloids and Nanoparticles
© The Author(s), 2017