Volume 142, Number 3, May 2023
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Section||Statistical physics and networks|
|Published online||28 April 2023|
Force-free and autonomous active Brownian ratchets(a)
1 Leipzig University, Faculty of Physics and Earth Sciences, Institute for Theoretical Physics Brüderstraße 16, D-04081 Leipzig, Germany
2 Charles University, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics Department of Macromolecular Physics V Holešovičkách 2, CZ-180 00 Praha, Czech Republic
Received: 17 February 2023
Accepted: 13 April 2023
Autonomous active Brownian ratchets rectify active Brownian particle motion solely by means of a spatially modulated but stationary activity, without external forces. We argue that such ratcheting requires at least a two-dimensional geometry. The underlying principle is similar to the ratcheting induced by steric obstacles in microswimmer baths: suitably polarized swimmers get channeled, while the others get trapped in low-activity regions until they lose direction. The maximum current is generally reached in the limit of large propulsion speeds, in which the rectification efficiency vanishes. Maximum efficiency is attained at intermediate activities and numerically found to be on the order of a few percent, for ratchets with simple wedge-shaped low-activity regions.
© 2023 The author(s)
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