Mechanochemical fluctuation theorem and thermodynamics of self-phoretic motors

18 Jun 2017  ·  Gaspard Pierre, Kapral Raymond ·

Microscopic dynamical aspects of the propulsion of nanomotors by self-phoretic mechanisms are considered. Propulsion by self-diffusiophoresis relies on the mechanochemical coupling between the fluid velocity field and the concentration fields induced by asymmetric catalytic reactions on the motor surface... The consistency between the thermodynamics of this coupling and the microscopic reversibility of the underlying molecular dynamics is investigated. For this purpose coupled Langevin equations for the translational, rotational, and chemical fluctuations of self-phoretic motors are derived. A mechanochemical fluctuation theorem for the joint probability to find the motor at position r after n reactive events have occurred during the time interval t is also derived. An important result that follows from this analysis is the identification of an effect that is reciprocal to self-propulsion by diffusiophoresis, which leads to the possibility of fuel synthesis by mechanochemical coupling to external force and torque. read more

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Statistical Mechanics