We describe colloidal Janus particles with metallic and dielectric faces that swim vigorously when illuminated by defocused optical tweezers without consuming any chemical fuel. Rather than wandering randomly, these optically-activated colloidal swimmers circulate back and forth through the beam of light, tracing out sinuous rosette patterns. We propose a model for this mode of light-activated transport that accounts for the observed behavior through a combination of self-thermophoresis and optically-induced torque. In the deterministic limit, this model yields trajectories that resemble rosette curves known as hypotrochoids.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics