Hydrodynamics of an odd active surfer in a chiral fluid

Hosaka, Yuto; Golestanian, Ramin and Daddi-Moussa-Ider, Abdallah (2023). Hydrodynamics of an odd active surfer in a chiral fluid. New Journal of Physics, 25, article no. 083046.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/1367-2630/aceea4


We theoretically and computationally study the low-Reynolds-number hydrodynamics of a linear active microswimmer surfing on a compressible thin fluid layer characterized by an odd viscosity. Since the underlying three-dimensional fluid is assumed to be very thin compared to any lateral size of the fluid layer, the model is effectively two-dimensional. In the limit of small odd viscosity compared to the even viscosities of the fluid layer, we obtain analytical expressions for the self-induced flow field, which includes non-reciprocal components due to the odd viscosity. On this basis, we fully analyze the behavior of a single linear swimmer, finding that it follows a circular path, the radius of which is, to leading order, inversely proportional to the magnitude of the odd viscosity. In addition, we show that a pair of swimmers exhibits a wealth of two-body dynamics that depends on the initial relative orientation angles as well as on the propulsion mechanism adopted by each swimmer. In particular, the pusher–pusher and pusher–puller-type swimmer pairs exhibit a generic spiral motion, while the puller–puller pair is found to either co-rotate in the steady state along a circular trajectory or exhibit a more complex chaotic behavior resulting from the interplay between hydrodynamic and steric interactions. Our theoretical predictions may pave the way toward a better understanding of active transport in active chiral fluids with odd viscosity, and may find potential applications in the quantitative microrheological characterization of odd-viscous fluids.

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