Active particles bound by information flows

Utsab Khadka, Viktor Holubec, Haw Yang, Frank Cichos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Self-organization is the generation of order out of local interactions. It is deeply connected to many fields of science from physics, chemistry to biology, all based on physical interactions. The emergence of collective animal behavior is the result of self-organization processes as well, though they involve abstract interactions arising from sensory inputs, information processing, storage, and feedback. Resulting collective behaviors are found, for example, in crowds of people, flocks of birds, and swarms of bacteria. Here we introduce interactions between active microparticles which are based on the information about other particle positions. A real-time feedback of multiple active particle positions is the information source for the propulsion direction of these particles. The emerging structures require continuous information flows. They reveal frustrated geometries due to confinement to two dimensions and internal dynamical degrees of freedom that are reminiscent of physically bound systems, though they exist only as nonequilibrium structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3864
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Active particles bound by information flows'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this