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Friday, 07 April, 2006

Entropic Transport: Kinetics, Scaling, and Control Mechanisms

D. Reguera, G. Schmid, P. S. Burada, J. M. Rubí, P. Reimann and P. Hänggi -
Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 130603 (2006)

We show that transport in the presence of entropic barriers exhibits peculiar characteristics which makes it distinctly different from that occurring through energy barriers. The constrained dynamics yields a scaling regime for the particle current and the diffusion coefficient in terms of the ratio between the work done to the particles and available thermal energy. This interesting property, genuine to the entropic nature of the barriers, can be utilized to effectively control transport through quasi-one-dimensional structures in which irregularities or tortuosity of the boundaries cause entropic effects. The accuracy of the kinetic description has been corroborated by simulations. Applications to different dynamic situations involving entropic barriers are outlined.


Article on the journal's website