Freezing and phase separation of self-propelled disks

Yaouen Fily*, Silke Henkes, M. Cristina Marchetti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

200 Citations (Scopus)


We study numerically a model of soft polydisperse and non-aligning self-propelled particles interacting through elastic repulsion, which was recently shown to exhibit active phase separation in two dimensions in the absence of any attractive interaction or breaking of the orientational symmetry. We construct a phase diagram in terms of activity and packing fraction and identify three distinct regimes: a homogeneous liquid with anomalous cluster size distribution, a phase-separated state both at high and at low density, and a frozen phase. We provide a physical interpretation of the various regimes and develop scaling arguments for the boundaries separating them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2132-2140
Number of pages9
JournalSoft matter
Issue number13
Early online date11 Dec 2013
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2014

Bibliographical note

MCM acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation through awards DMR-1004789 and DGE-1068780. The computations were carried out on the Syracuse University HTC Campus Grid


  • active matter
  • transition
  • particles
  • migration
  • disorder
  • cond-mat.soft


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