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Dielectrophoretic ratchets for linear and rotary nanomotors

M.P. Hughes and R.D. Astumian
University of Surrey, UK

Keywords:
nanomotor, dielectrophoresis, ratchet, simulation

Abstract:
Dielectrophoresis (DEP) is a phemomenon of induced particle motion in non-uniform electric fields. In this paper, we will describe how the phenomenon can be used to design electrokinetic ratchet devices to provide both linear and rotary motion. Such devices exploit Brownian motion through the imposition of an asymmetrical potential energy field, to provide motion. Since Brownian motion is a prerequisite, such devices are most applicable to the transport of nanoparticles. In this paper, we present the results of modelling of uch devices capable of linear translation, and of particular novelty, rotary motion and show the torque of the rotary motor is of the order of that generated by a bacterial motor.

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