Thumbnail Image

Emergent collective dynamics of pusher and puller squirmer rods: swarming, clustering, and turbulence

Zantop, Arne W.; Stark, Holger

FG Statistische Physik weicher Materie und biologischer Systeme

We study the interplay of steric and hydrodynamic interactions in suspensions of elongated microswimmers by simulating the full hydrodynamics of squirmer rods in the quasi two-dimensional geometry of a Hele-Shaw cell. To create pusher or puller-type squirmer rods, we concentrate the surface slip-velocity field more to the back or to the front of the rod and thereby are able to tune the rod's force-dipole strength. We study a wide range of aspect ratios and area fractions and provide corresponding state diagrams. The flow field of pusher-type squirmer rods destabilizes ordered structures and favors the disordered state at small area fractions and aspect ratios. Only when steric interactions become relevant, we observe a turbulent and dynamic cluster state, while for large aspect ratios a single swarm and jammed cluster occurs. The power spectrum of the turbulent state shows two distinct energy cascades at small and large wave numbers with power-law scaling and non-universal exponents. Pullers show a strong tendency to form swarms instead of the disordered state found for neutral and pusher rods. At large area fractions a dynamic cluster is observed and at larger aspect ratio a single swarm or jammed cluster occurs.