Enhancing rectification of a nano-swimmer system by multi-layered asymmetric barriers

Yen Fu Chen, Song Xiao, Hsuan Yi Chen, Yu Jane Sheng, Heng Kwong Tsao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The rectification of nano-swimmers in two chambers separated by a strip of funnel gates is explored by dissipative particle dynamics simulations. According to the trajectories of active colloids across the funnel zone, two rectification mechanisms are identified: geometry-assisted diffusion and trap-hindered diffusion. In general, geometry-assisted diffusion dominates at a small active force (Fa) and run time (τ) while trap-hindered diffusion governs at a large Fa and τ. The rectification ratio is affected by the funnel shape and various geometries are considered: open/closed triangular, circular and rectangular funnels. The rectification ratio of open funnels is always greater than that of closed funnels. Moreover, the open circular funnel has the best performance while the triangular one has the worst. Rectification can be enhanced as the number of funnel layers is increased. It is found that the rectification ratio of self-propelled colloids can be dramatically augmented by triple-layered funnels to be as high as 30. Our simulation study offers an efficient approach for rectification enhancement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16451-16459
Number of pages9
Issue number39
StatePublished - 21 Oct 2015


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