Entropic splitter for particle separation

Phys Rev Lett. 2012 Jan 13;108(2):020604. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.020604. Epub 2012 Jan 13.


We present a particle separation mechanism which induces the motion of particles of different sizes in opposite directions. The mechanism is based on the combined action of a driving force and an entropic rectification of the Brownian fluctuations caused by the asymmetric form of the channel along which particles proceed. The entropic splitting effect shown could be controlled upon variation of the geometrical parameters of the channel and could be implemented in narrow channels and microfluidic devices.