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Mechanisms of Symmetry Breaking in a Multidimensional Flashing Particle Ratchet

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Center for Bio-Inspired Energy Science, Northwestern University, 303 East Superior Street, 11th floor, Chicago, Illinois 60611-3015, United States
Department of Chemistry, Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, Illinois 60208-3113, United States
Cite this: ACS Nano 2017, 11, 7, 7148–7155
Publication Date (Web):July 12, 2017
Copyright © 2017 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract Image

    Ratcheting is a mechanism that produces directional transport of particles by rectifying nondirectional energy using local asymmetries rather than a net bias in the direction of transport. In a flashing ratchet, an oscillating force (here, an AC field) is applied perpendicular to the direction of transport. In an effort to explore the properties of current experimentally realizable ratchet systems, and to design new ones, this paper describes classical simulations of a damped flashing ratchet that transports charged nanoparticles within a transport layer of finite, non-zero thickness. The thickness of the layer, and the decay of the applied field in the z-direction throughout that thickness, provide a mechanism of symmetry breaking in the system that allows the ratchet to produce directional transport using a temporally unbiased oscillation of the AC driving field, a sine wave. Sine waves are conveniently produced experimentally or harvested from natural sources but cannot produce transport in a 1D or pseudo-1D system. The sine wave drive produces transport velocities an order of magnitude higher than those produced by the common on/off drive, but lower than those produced by a temporally biased square wave drive (unequal durations of the positive and negative states). The dependence of the particle velocity on the thickness of the transport layer, and on the homogeneity of the oscillating field within the layer, is presented for all three driving schemes.

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    Supporting Information

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    The Supporting Information is available free of charge on the ACS Publications website at DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.7b02995.

    • Movie captions; simulation parameters; mean particle x-position vs time for several cases; additional velocity vs transport layer thickness plots for different drives and temperature; plots showing the trajectories of particles under biased square and unbiased sine wave drives; and the results of simulations using a static bias to transport particles in the x-direction (PDF)

    • Movies tracking the motion of particles for the different cases studied (ZIP)

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    Cited By

    This article is cited by 12 publications.

    1. Ofer Kedem, Emily A. Weiss. Cooperative Transport in a Multi-Particle, Multi-Dimensional Flashing Ratchet. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2019, 123 (11) , 6913-6921.
    2. Ofer Kedem, Bryan Lau, and Emily A. Weiss . How To Drive a Flashing Electron Ratchet To Maximize Current. Nano Letters 2017, 17 (9) , 5848-5854.
    3. Han Li, Teng Gao, Dongxin He, Shijie Xie. Flashing ratchet effect for driving carriers to accelerate directional migration in organic photovoltaic devices. Applied Physics Letters 2023, 123 (10)
    4. Alon Herman, Joel W. Ager, Shane Ardo, Gideon Segev. Ratchet-Based Ion Pumps for Selective Ion Separations. PRX Energy 2023, 2 (2)
    5. Nils E. Strand, Hadrien Vroylandt, Todd R. Gingrich. Computing time-periodic steady-state currents via the time evolution of tensor network states. The Journal of Chemical Physics 2022, 157 (5) , 054104.
    6. Jesús Valdiviezo, Peng Zhang, David N. Beratan. Electron ratcheting in self-assembled soft matter. The Journal of Chemical Physics 2021, 155 (5)
    7. Nils E. Strand, Rueih-Sheng Fu, Todd R. Gingrich. Current inversion in a periodically driven two-dimensional Brownian ratchet. Physical Review E 2020, 102 (1)
    8. Bryan Lau, Ofer Kedem. Electron ratchets: State of the field and future challenges. The Journal of Chemical Physics 2020, 152 (20)
    9. , T. Ye. Korochkova, N. G. Shkoda, , V. M. Rozenbaum, , K. M. Shautsova, , I. V. Shapochkina, . One-sided broadening of frequency dependence of the velocity of a Brownian motor. Himia, Fizika ta Tehnologia Poverhni 2019, 10 (3) , 227-237.
    10. Arshia Zarrin, David A. Sivak, Aidan I. Brown. Breaking time-reversal symmetry for ratchet models of molecular machines. Physical Review E 2019, 99 (6)
    11. Jakub Spiechowicz, Jerzy Łuczka. SQUID ratchet: Statistics of transitions in dynamical localization. Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science 2019, 29 (1)
    12. Jing-jing Liao, Xiao-qun Huang, Bao-quan Ai. Current reversals of active particles in time-oscillating potentials. Soft Matter 2018, 14 (38) , 7850-7858.

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