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Proceedings Paper

Applications of Brownian motors
Author(s): Heiner Linke
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Paper Abstract

Brownian motors combine asymmetry (such as a “ratchet” potential) and stochastic (thermal) motion with non-equilibrium processes to generate directed particle flow. A brief general introduction to Brownian motors is given, and the relevance of the ratchet model for biological motor proteins is highlighted. However, the impact of research on Brownian motors goes far beyond biophysics. A wealth of novel phenomena has been predicted, and some of these phenomena have been observed in areas as diverse as synthetic chemistry, bio-molecular colloids, self-organizing systems, quantum electronics, micro-fluidics, and materials science. Applications, such as novel actuators and molecular separation techniques, are evolving quickly. In the oral presentation, I will attempt to give an overview on applications of ratchets and Brownian motors. In the present paper, I give a short overview and review then a recent experimental realization of a tunneling ratchet for electrons. Such electron tunnelling ratchets can not only be used to generate particle currents, but also to pump heat. Using a realistic model, the heat pumping properties of the experimental electron ratchet are analysed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 May 2003
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5114, Noise in Complex Systems and Stochastic Dynamics, (7 May 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.496980
Show Author Affiliations
Heiner Linke, Univ. of Oregon (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5114:
Noise in Complex Systems and Stochastic Dynamics
Lutz Schimansky-Geier; Derek Abbott; Alexander Neiman; Christian Van den Broeck, Editor(s)

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