Volume 88, Number 3, November 2009
Article Number 30003
Number of page(s) 5
Section General
Published online 13 November 2009
EPL, 88 (2009) 30003
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/88/30003

Dipole rectification in an oscillating electric field

A. Pototsky1, N. B. Janson1, F. Marchesoni2, 3 and S. Savel'ev3

1   School of Mathematics, Loughborough University - Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK, EU
2   Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Camerino - I-62032 Camerino, Italy, EU
3   Department of Physics, Loughborough University - Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK, EU

received 14 September 2009; accepted in final form 16 October 2009; published November 2009
published online 13 November 2009

Directed transport of a neutral dimer driven by an ac electric field on a one-dimensional asymmetric substrate is demonstrated. We specialize on the case of a short elastic dimer formed by two bound equal masses carrying opposite charges, i.e., a dipole. The combination of ac drive and binding potential induces a net dipole current (strictly zero for a rigid dimer), which can be optimized by tuning the temperature and the driving frequency with distinct activation energies. Under appropriate operating conditions, a dimer can get rectified more efficiently than its constituents set free, thus implying that particle pairing can actually enhance the ratchet effect.

05.60.-k - Transport processes.
66.10.C- - Diffusion and thermal diffusion.

© EPLA 2009