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Title: Active colloids and polymer translocation
Author: Cohen, Jack Andrew
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis considers two areas of research in non-equilibrium soft matter at the mesoscale. In the first part we introduce active colloids in the context of active matter and focus on the particular case of phoretic colloids. The general theory of phoresis is presented along with an expression for the phoretic velocity of a colloid and its rotational diffusion in two and three dimensions. We introduce a model for thermally active colloids that absorb light and emit heat and propel through thermophoresis. Using this model we develop the equations of motion for their collective dynamics and consider excluded volume through a lattice gas formalism. Solutions to the thermoattractive collective dynamics are studied in one dimension analytically and numerically. A few numerical results are presented for the collective dynamics in two dimensions. We simulate an unconfined system of thermally active colloids under directed illumination with simple projection based geometric optics. This system self-organises into a comet-like swarm and exhibits a wide range of non- equilibrium phenomena. In the second part we review the background of polymer translocation, including key experiments, theoretical progress and simulation studies. We present, discuss and use a common model to investigate the potential of patterned nanopores for stochastic sensing and identification of polynucleotides and other heteropolymers. Three pore patterns are characterised in terms of the response of a homopolymer with varying attractive affinity. This is extended to simple periodic block co-polymer heterostructures and a model device is proposed and demonstrated with two stochastic sensing algorithms. We find that mul- tiple sequential measurements of the translocation time is sufficient for identification with high accuracy. Motivated by fluctuating biological channels and the prospect of frequency based selectivity we investigate the response of a homopolymer through a pore that has a time dependent geometry. We show that a time dependent mobility can capture many features of the frequency response.
Supervisor: Golestanian, Ramin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Condensed Matter Physics ; Condensed matter theory ; Theoretical physics ; Stochastic processes ; active colloids ; colloids ; phoresis ; swimmers ; polymer dynamics ; polymer translocation ; simulation ; langevin equation ; fokker-planck equation ; stochastic sensing