Next Article in Journal
Thermomagnetic Convection of Paramagnetic Gas in an Enclosure under No Gravity Condition
Next Article in Special Issue
A Potential Field Description for Gravity-Driven Film Flow over Piece-Wise Planar Topography
Previous Article in Journal
Equations for Deep Water Counter Streaming Waves and New Integrals of Motion
Previous Article in Special Issue
Steady Two-Dimensional Free-Surface Flow Past Disturbances in an Open Channel: Solutions of the Korteweg–De Vries Equation and Analysis of the Weakly Nonlinear Phase Space
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

The Hydrodynamics of a Micro-Rocket Propelled by a Deformable Bubble

Laboratory of Fluid Mechanics and Instabilities, EPFL, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
Linné Flow Centre and Swedish e-Science Research Centre (SeRC), KTH Mechanics, SE 10044 Stockholm, Sweden
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Fluids 2019, 4(1), 48;
Received: 22 January 2019 / Revised: 21 February 2019 / Accepted: 6 March 2019 / Published: 14 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Free surface flows)
PDF [1742 KB, uploaded 14 March 2019]
  |     |  


We perform simulations to study the hydrodynamics of a conical-shaped swimming micro-robot that ejects catalytically produced bubbles from its inside. We underline the nontrivial dependency of the swimming velocity on the bubble deformability and on the geometry of the swimmer. We identify three distinct phases during the bubble evolution: immediately after nucleation the bubble is spherical and its inflation barely affects the swimming speed; then the bubble starts to deform due to the confinement gradient generating a force that propels the swimmer; while in the last phase, the bubble exits the cone, resulting in an increase in the swimmer velocity. Our results shed light on the fundamental hydrodynamics of the propulsion of catalytic conical swimmers and may help to improve the efficiency of these micro-machines. View Full-Text
Keywords: catalytic microswimmers; bubble-propelled microswimmers; microrockets; numerical simulations; self-propulsion catalytic microswimmers; bubble-propelled microswimmers; microrockets; numerical simulations; self-propulsion

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Gallino, G.; Zhu, L.; Gallaire, F. The Hydrodynamics of a Micro-Rocket Propelled by a Deformable Bubble. Fluids 2019, 4, 48.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Fluids EISSN 2311-5521 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top