Binding self-propelled topological defects in active turbulence

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We report on the emergence of stable self-propelled bound defects in monolayers of active nematics, which form virtual full-integer topological defects in the form of vortices and asters. Through numerical simulations and analytical arguments, we identify the phase space of the bound defect formation in active nematic monolayers. It is shown that an intricate synergy between the nature of active stresses and the flow-aligning behavior of active particles can stabilize the motion of self-propelled positive half-integer defects into specific bound structures. Our findings therefore, uncover conditions for the formation of full integer topological defects in active nematics with the potential for triggering further experiments and theories.

Original languageEnglish
Article number042008
JournalPhysical Review Research
Issue number4
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2020

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