Active Glass : Ergodicity Breaking Dramatically Affects Response to Self-Propulsion
2019-12-13, Klongvessa, Natsuda, Ginot, Félix, Ybert, Christophe, Cottin-Bizonne, Cécile, Leocmach, Mathieu
We study experimentally the response of a dense sediment of Brownian particles to self-propulsion. We observe that the ergodic supercooled liquid relaxation is monotonically enhanced by activity. By contrast the nonergodic glass shows an order of magnitude slowdown at low activities with respect to the passive case, followed by fluidization at higher activities. Our results contrast with theoretical predictions of the ergodic approach to glass transition, summing up to a shift of the glass line. We propose that nonmonotonicity is due to competing effects of activity: (i) extra energy that helps breaking cages; (ii) directionality that hinders cage exploration. We call it "deadlock from the emergence of active directionality." It suggests further theoretical works should include thermal motion.
Nonmonotonic behavior in dense assemblies of active colloids
2019-12, Klongvessa, Natsuda, Ginot, Félix, Ybert, Christophe, Cottin-Bizonne, Cécile, Leocmach, Mathieu
We study experimentally a sediment of self-propelled Brownian particles with densities ranging from dilute to ergodic supercooled to nonergodic glass to nonergodic polycrystal. In a companion paper, we observe a nonmonotonic response to activity of relaxation of the nonergodic glass state: a dramatic slowdown when particles become weakly self-propelled, followed by a speedup at higher activities. Here we map ergodic supercooled states to standard passive glassy physics, provided a monotonic shift of the glass packing fraction and the replacement of the ambient temperature by the effective temperature. However, we show that this mapping fails beyond glass transition. This failure is responsible for the nonmonotonic response. Furthermore, we generalize our finding by examining the dynamical response of another class of nonergodic systems: polycrystals. We observe the same nonmonotonic response to activity. To explain this phenomenon, we measure the size of domains where particles move in the same direction. This size also shows a nonmonotonic response, with small lengths corresponding to slow relaxation. This suggests that the failure of the mapping of nonergodic active states to a passive situation is general and is linked to anisotropic relaxation mechanisms specific to active matter.