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Cooperative Transport in a Multi-Particle, Multi-Dimensional Flashing Ratchet
- Kedem, Ofer, Weiss, Emily A.
- Journal of physical chemistry 2019 v.123 no.11 pp. 6913-6921
- energy, microparticles, physical chemistry
- Random and undirected forces are rectified in biological and synthetic systems using ratcheting mechanisms, which employ periodic asymmetric potentials and nonequilibrium conditions to produce useful transport. The density of motors or transported particles is known to strongly affect the nature and efficacy of transport in biological systems, as well as in synthetic ratchets and active swimmer systems. While experimental ratchet implementations typically employ potentials varying in two dimensions (2D), the role of the density of interacting particles in such a system has not been modeled. Prompted by experimental observations and building upon previous simulations, this paper describes the ratcheting process of interacting particles in a 2D flashing ratchet, studied using classical simulations. Increased particle density is found to allow effective ratcheting at higher driving frequencies, compared to the low-density or non-interacting case. High densities also produce a new ratcheting mode at low driving frequencies, based on independent trajectories of high kinetic-energy particles, more than doubling transport at low frequencies.