Abstract

A deep understanding for collective behavior in an active matter system with complex interactions has far-reaching impact in biology. In the present work, we adopt Langevin dynamics simulations to investigate diffusion dynamics and phase separation in an anisotropic active particle system with a tunable biased angle α defined as the deviation between the active force direction and anisotropic orientation. Our results demonstrate that the biased angle can induce super-rotational diffusion dynamics characterized by a power-law relationship between the mean square angle displacement (MSAD) and the time interval Δt in the form of MSAD ∼ Δtβ with β > 1 and also result in non-trivial phase separation kinetics. As activity is dominant, nucleation time shows a non-monotonic dependence on the biased angle. Moreover, there arises a distinct transition of phase separation, from spinodal decomposition without apparent nucleation time to binodal decomposition with prominent nucleation delay. A significant inhibition effect occurs at right and obtuse angles, where the remarkable super-rotational diffusion prevents particle aggregation, leading to a slow nucleation process. As active force is competitive to anisotropic interactions, the system is almost homogeneous, while, intriguingly, we observe a re-entrant phase separation as a small acute angle is introduced. The prominent super-rotational diffusion under small angles provides an optimum condition for particle adsorption and cluster growth and, thus, accounts for the re-entrance of phase separation. A consistent scenario for the physical mechanism of our observations is achieved by properly considering the modulation of the biased angle on the interplay between activity and anisotropic interactions.

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