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Directional Locking

Particles which are driven across periodic substrate potentials show a number of intriguing phenomena. Depending on the direction of the applied driving force F, the orientation of the particle's motion can substantially deviate from F but is locked-in to directions determined by the substrate's symmetry. Examples of such kinetically locked-in states range from atom migration on crystalline surfaces, driven charge density waves to flux flow in type-II superconductors. Also, it has been demonstrated that directional locking can be employed for sorting of colloidal particles according to their size, refractive index or chirality. When subjecting a monolayer of colloidal particles to quasiperiodic substrates potentials being created by interfering laser beams, we also observe dynamical ordering with a pronounced colloidal smectic phase. This suggests that dynamical ordering is not restricted to periodic potentials but also occurs under more general conditions.

Directional Locking

Further information

[119]Experimental Observation of Directional Locking and Dynamical Ordering of Colloidal Monolayers Driven across Quasiperiodic Substrates
Thomas Bohlein, and Clemens Bechinger
Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 058301 (2012)
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