Flux reversal in a two-state symmetric optical thermal ratchet

Sang Hyuk Lee, David G. Grier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


A Brownian particle's random motions can be rectified by a periodic potential-energy landscape that alternates between two states, even if both states are spatially symmetric. If the two states differ only by a discrete translation, the direction of the ratchet-driven current can be reversed by changing their relative durations. We experimentally demonstrate flux reversal in a symmetric two-state ratchet by tracking the motions of colloidal spheres moving through large arrays of discrete potential-energy wells created with dynamic holographic optical tweezers. The model's simplicity and high degree of symmetry suggest possible applications in molecular-scale motors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number060102
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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