Minimal model of active colloids highlights the role of mechanical interactions in controlling the emergent behavior of active matter

M. Cristina Marchetti, Yaouen Fily, Silke Henkes, Adam Patch, David Yllanes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

70 Citations (Scopus)


Minimal models of active Brownian colloids consisting of self-propelled spherical particles with purely repulsive interactions have recently been identified as excellent quantitative testing grounds for theories of active matter and have been the subject of extensive numerical and analytical investigation. These systems do not exhibit aligned or flocking states but do have a rich phase diagram, forming active gases, liquids, and solids with novel mechanical properties. This article reviews recent advances in the understanding of such models, including the description of the active gas and its swim pressure, the motility-induced phase separation and the high-density crystalline and glassy behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-43
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Opinion in Colloid & Interface Science
Early online date8 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016



  • Active glasses
  • Active matter
  • Phase separation
  • Swim pressure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry
  • Surfaces and Interfaces

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