Departmental Seminar 30/11/16

20 November 2016

3pm - 4pm

Ramsay Lecture Theatre, CIB

"Catalytic Micro-swimmers"

Dr Stephen Ebbens

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Sheffield

This talk will describe efforts to understand and control the motion of micron scale swimming devices.  These “swimmers” share the feature of using surface catalytic reactions to generate motion in fluids.  One main theme of the talk will explore ways in which the motion of spherical Janus catalytic swimmers can be directed despite their constant randomisation of orientation and position by Brownian phenomena.  This ability to control direction will be key to enable proposed microfluidic applications in areas such as medical diagnostics.  A second theme will describe recent work to investigate larger swimming devices, which show promising biocompatibility and can be manufactured using ink-jet printing.  Throughout the talk, reference will be made to the propulsion mechanisms for these devices, which remains the subject of considerable debate.  In addition, an indication of the future research directions for catalytic mirco-swimmers will be offered.