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The European Physical Journal E

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 11–16 | Cite as

A semiflexible polymer ring acting as a nano-propeller

Regular Article

Abstract

The dynamics of a rotating elastic nano-ring driven in a viscous fluid by an externally applied torque about a specific axis is studied using elasto-hydrodynamic simulations. We show that a helical deformation of the ring filament is excited, and that this leads to directed propulsion which is independent of the direction of rotation. It is found that the propulsive force and efficiency initially increase as the torque is increased, and then decrease discontinuously at a buckling transition at a critical torque. This unique propulsive behavior at the shape transition arises due to its specific geometry, i.e., circularity of an elastic filament. The implications of the behavior for artificial microscopic devices are discussed.

PACS

47.63.mf Low-Reynolds-number motions 87.16.Ka Filaments, microtubules, their networks, and supramolecular assemblies 47.20.Ky Nonlinearity, bifurcation, and symmetry breaking 

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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Yukawa Institute for Theoretical PhysicsKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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