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Using the Thermal Ratchet Mechanism to Achieve Net Motility in Magnetic Microswimmers

Patil, G and Mandal, P and Ghosh, A (2022) Using the Thermal Ratchet Mechanism to Achieve Net Motility in Magnetic Microswimmers. In: Physical Review Letters, 129 (19).

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.129.198002


Thermal ratchets can extract useful work from random fluctuations. This is common in the molecular scale, such as motor proteins, and has also been used to achieve directional transport in microfluidic devices. In this Letter, we use the ratchet principle to induce net motility in an externally powered magnetic colloid, which otherwise shows reciprocal (back and forth) motion. The experimental system is based on ferromagnetic micro helices driven by oscillating magnetic fields, where the reciprocal symmetry is broken through asymmetric actuation timescales. The swimmers show net motility with an enhanced diffusivity, in agreement with the numerical calculations. This new class of microscale, magnetically powered, active colloids can provide a promising experimental platform to simulate diverse active matter phenomena in the natural world.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Physical Review Letters
Publisher: American Physical Society
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to the Authors.
Keywords: Experimental system; Ferromagnetics; Magnetic colloids; Micro-swimmer; Microfluidics devices; Molecular scale; Motor proteins; Random fluctuation; Ratchet mechanisms; Thermal ratchet, Magnetism, colloid; magnetism; motion, Colloids; Magnetic Phenomena; Magnetics; Motion
Department/Centre: Division of Interdisciplinary Sciences > Centre for Nano Science and Engineering
Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Physics
Date Deposited: 01 Jan 2023 09:12
Last Modified: 01 Jan 2023 09:12
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/78649

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