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Proceedings Paper

Active matter on asymmetric substrates
Author(s): C. J. Olson Reichhardt; J. Drocco; T. Mai; M. B. Wan; C. Reichhardt
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Paper Abstract

For collections of particles in a thermal bath interacting with an asymmetric substrate, it is possible for a ratchet effect to occur where the particles undergo a net dc motion in response to an ac forcing. Ratchet effects have been demonstrated in a variety of systems including colloids as well as magnetic vortices in type-II superconductors. Here we examine the case of active matter or self-driven particles interacting with asymmetric substrates. Active matter systems include self-motile colloidal particles undergoing catalysis, swimming bacteria, artificial swimmers, crawling cells, and motor proteins. We show that a ratchet effect can arise in this type of system even in the absence of ac forcing. The directed motion occurs for certain particle-substrate interaction rules and its magnitude depends on the amount of time the particles spend swimming in one direction before turning and swimming in a new direction. For strictly Brownian particles there is no ratchet effect. If the particles reflect off the barriers or scatter from the barriers according to Snell's law there is no ratchet effect; however, if the particles can align with the barriers or move along the barriers, directed motion arises. We also find that under certain motion rules, particles accumulate along the walls of the container in agreement with experiment. We also examine pattern formation for synchronized particle motion. We discuss possible applications of this system for self-assembly, extracting work, and sorting as well as future directions such as considering collective interactions and flocking models.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 September 2011
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 8097, Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation VIII, 80970A (9 September 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.897424
Show Author Affiliations
C. J. Olson Reichhardt, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
J. Drocco, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
T. Mai, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
M. B. Wan, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
C. Reichhardt, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8097:
Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation VIII
Kishan Dholakia; Gabriel C. Spalding, Editor(s)

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