CNR-IPCF, UOS Roma c/o Dipartimento di Fisica, Università “Sapienza” - I-00185 Roma, Italy, EU
Accepted: 1 November 2011
We analyze self-propelling organisms, or active particles, in a periodic asymmetric potential. Unlike standard ratchet effect for Brownian particles requiring external forcing, in the case of active particles asymmetric potential alone produces a net drift speed (active ratchet effect). By using theoretical models and numerical simulations we demonstrate the emergence of the rectification process in the presence of an asymmetric piecewise periodic potential. The broken spatial symmetry (external potential) and time symmetry (active particles) are sufficient ingredients to sustain unidirectional transport. Our findings open the way to new mechanisms to move in directional manner motile organisms by using external periodic static fields.
PACS: 87.10.Mn – Stochastic modeling / 05.40.-a – Fluctuation phenomena, random processes, noise, and Brownian motion / 87.17.Jj – Cell locomotion, chemotaxis
© EPLA, 2011