Directed transport of active particles over asymmetric energy barriers

Soft Matter. 2014 Aug 21;10(31):5695-701. doi: 10.1039/c4sm00665h. Epub 2014 Jun 30.


We theoretically and numerically investigate the transport of active colloids to target regions, delimited by asymmetric energy barriers. We show that it is possible to introduce a generalized effective temperature that is related to the local variance of particle velocities. The stationary probability distributions can be derived from a simple diffusion equation in the presence of an inhomogeneous effective temperature resulting from the action of external force fields. In particular, transition rates over asymmetric energy barriers can be unbalanced by having different effective temperatures over the two slopes of the barrier. By varying the type of active noise, we find that equal values of diffusivity and persistence time may produce strongly varied effective temperatures and thus stationary distributions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't