Unidirectional motion of a camphor disk on water forced by interactions between surface camphor concentration and dynamically changing boundaries†
We study the motion of a camphor disk on the water surface in a system with flexible boundaries. The boundaries can be dynamically modified by non-uniform surface tension resulting from the nonhomogeneous surface concentration of the camphor molecules dissipated by the disk. We investigate the geometry of the boundaries that forces unidirectional motion of the disk. The studied system can be regarded as a signal diode if the presence or absence of a camphor disk at a specific point is interpreted as the binary TRUE and FALSE variables. The diode can be incorporated into more complex devices, like a ring that imposes unidirectional rotation of camphor disks.