Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type



Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Ilona Kretzschmar


Anisotropic Colloids, Janus and patchy particles, Dynamical behavior, Motion, Boundaries, Interfaces


Colloidal particles with anisotropic surface properties are an emergent class of novel materials that have been indicated to possess a remarkable potential to still be fully exploited. Among anisotropic colloids, Janus and patchy particles with different compositions and functionalities recently have drawn significant attention in the field of colloid science. They are known as promising candidates to address challenges in various fields such as emulsion stabilization, oil recovery, drug delivery, biosensors and environmental remediation. A majority of the envisioned applications require Janus and patchy particles to operate near boundaries, i.e., a wall or a fluid/liquid interface, which significantly affect the dynamics of colloidal particles. Many studies have focused on understanding the dynamics and principles underlying the motion of active colloidal particles near various boundaries, yet a number of questions in the field remain to be answered.

In this dissertation, motivated by the rich field of the dynamics of colloidal particles near boundaries, the goal is to shed light on Brownian and autonomous motion of Janus and patchy particles near a solid boundary and near various oil/water interfaces. Various boundaries used in the thesis serve as the means to significantly alter the behavior of such particles. Thus, the dynamics of both passive and chemically active Janus and patchy particles near a wall and different water/oil interfaces has been probed theoretically and experimentally. The Brownian dynamics simulation technique has been implemented to

study different parameters that affect the dynamics of a Brownian Janus particles near a wall and under shear flow. In the experimental studies, various types of Janus and patchy particles have been fabricated using physical vapor deposition and the glancing angel deposition (GLAD) technique, respectively, and their trajectories near a wall and water/oil interfaces have been studied. The ability to engineer the behavior of chemically active particles has been demonstrated by precisely tuning their surface compositions, i.e., size of platinum cap leading to a preferential rotational behavior of patchy particles near a wall. Additionally, for various types of model gyrotactic (i.e., bottom heavy) self- motile Janus particles the coexistence of sliding states at both horizontal walls of an experimental cell has been investigated. Furthermore, adding motility to a suspension of passive Janus particles near a water/oil interface via introducing H2O2 as fuel to propel the particles has been shown to control the interfacial activity of amphiphilic Janus particles by preventing them from adsorbing to the interface. Last, the use of oxygen- permeable and impermeable oil/water interfaces has been used to shed more light on the propulsion mechanism of chemically active Janus particles in H2O2. Overall, the thesis contributes to a better understanding of the dynamical motion of both passive and active anisotropic particles near boundaries and provides information on how to engineer their dynamical behavior for various applications. Further, the thesis seeds new research directions such as the collective behavior of many-body Janus particles systems confined by boundaries resulting in self-assembled structures with various rheological properties and the rotational behavior of chemically active particles in porous media elucidating the motility of microorganisms in confined environments.

Available for download on Wednesday, December 28, 2022