Aggregation and segregation of confined active particles

Xingbo Yang, M. Lisa Manning, M. Cristina Marchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

210 Scopus citations


We simulate a model of self-propelled disks with soft repulsive interactions confined to a box in two dimensions. For small rotational diffusion rates, monodisperse disks spontaneously accumulate at the walls. At low densities, interaction forces between particles are strongly inhomogeneous, and a simple model predicts how these inhomogeneities alter the equation of state. At higher densities, collective effects become important. We observe signatures of a jamming transition at a packing fraction ∼ 0.88, which is also the jamming point for non-active athermal monodisperse disks. At this , the system develops a critical finite active speed necessary for wall aggregation. At packing fractions above ∼ 0.6, the pressure decreases with increasing density, suggesting that strong interactions between particles are affecting the equation of state well below the jamming transition. A mixture of bidisperse disks segregates in the absence of any adhesion, identifying a new mechanism that could contribute to cell sorting in embryonic development. This journal is

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6477-6484
Number of pages8
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number34
StatePublished - Sep 14 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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