Active particles powered by Quincke rotation in a bulk fluid

Debasish Das, Eric Lauga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
52 Downloads (Pure)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number194503
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number19
Early online date16 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2019


  • dielectric particles
  • Quincke rotation
  • bacterial colonies
  • active particles


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