Single file dynamics in soft materials
The term single file (SF) dynamics refers to the motion of an assembly of particles through a channel with cross-sections comparable to the particles' diameter. Single file diffusion (SFD) is then the diffusion of a tagged particle in a single file, i.e., under the condition that particle passing is not allowed. SFD accounts for a large variety of processes in nature, including diffusion of colloids in synthetic and natural channels, biological motors along molecular chains, electrons in proteins and liquid helium, ions through membranes, just to mention a few examples. Albeit introduced in 1965s, over the last decade the classical notion of SF dynamics has been generalised to account for a more realistic modelling of the particle properties, file geometry, particle–particle and channel–particle interactions, which paves the way to remarkable applications of the SF model, for instance, in the technology of bio-integrated nanodevices. We provide here a comprehensive review of the recent advances in the theory of SF dynamics with the purpose of spurring further experimental work.