Magnetohydrodynamic self-propulsion of active matter agents

Applied Physics Letters, Volume 117, Issue 10, September 2020. Self-propelled particles, based on the magnetohydrodynamic acceleration of the surrounding fluid, are proposed for application as active matter agents. When the particles are resonantly excited by an electromagnetic wave, the scattered electric field induces currents in the surrounding fluid, which interact with the scattered magnetic field, thus producing a thrust. The time-averaged force is generally non-zero and can provide steady motion. Both the orientation of the particle and the direction of motion can be controlled by the radiation frequency and polarization. The concept has been studied analytically and through simulations showing its feasibility.