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Current reversals of active particles in time-oscillating potentials

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Abstract

Rectification of interacting active particles is numerically investigated in a two-dimensional time-oscillating potential. It is found that the oscillation of the potential and the self-propulsion of active particles are two different types of nonequilibrium driving, which can induce net currents with opposite directions. For a given asymmetry of the potential, the direction of the transport is determined by the competition of the self-propulsion and the oscillation of the potential. There exists an optimal oscillating angular frequency (or self-propulsion speed) at which the average velocity takes its maximal positive or negative value. Remarkably, when the oscillation of the potential competes with the self-propulsion, the average velocity can change direction several times due to the change in the oscillating frequency. Especially, particles with different self-propulsion velocities will move in opposite directions and can be separated. Our results provide a novel and convenient method for controlling and manipulating the transport (or separation) of active particles.

Graphical abstract: Current reversals of active particles in time-oscillating potentials

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Publication details

The article was received on 24 Jun 2018, accepted on 24 Aug 2018 and first published on 13 Sep 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01291A
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018, Advance Article
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    Current reversals of active particles in time-oscillating potentials

    J. Liao, X. Huang and B. Ai, Soft Matter, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01291A

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