Design of a Brownian ratchet based on repetitive aggregation and dispersion of stimuli-responsive molecules

Gayoung Kim, Jun Soo Kim

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We propose a Brownian ratchet for the unidirectional transport of stimuli-responsive molecules confined in a series of asymmetric geometries. It relies on repetitive cycles of aggregation and dispersion, which cause significant changes in molecular distribution within the confining geometry and enable the Brownian motion of the molecules to be ratcheted in a specific direction. To demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed Brownian ratchet, we conducted Brownian dynamics simulations where stimuli-responsive molecules were repeatedly aggregated and dispersed in a series of truncated conical tubes by altering intermolecular interactions. These simulations demonstrated the unidirectional transport of the molecules, indicating the efficacy of the proposed Brownian ratchet. Furthermore, we found that it becomes more effective with higher concentrations of molecules. This study suggests that, through the deliberate control of molecular assembly and disassembly by stimuli-responsive intermolecular interactions, it is possible to achieve directional and controlled molecular transport in various nanoscale applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number064908
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 14 Feb 2024

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