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Collective directional locking of colloidal monolayers on a periodic substrate

  • We investigate the directional locking effects that arise when a monolayer of paramagnetic colloidal particles is driven across a triangular lattice of magnetic bubbles. We use an external rotating magnetic field to generate a two-dimensional traveling wave ratchet forcing the transport of particles along a direction that intersects two crystallographic axes of the lattice. We find that, while single particles show no preferred direction, collective effects induce transversal current and directional locking at high density via a spontaneous symmetry breaking. The colloidal current may be polarized via an additional bias field that makes one transport direction energetically preferred.
Author:Ralph L. Stoop, Arthur StraubeORCiD, Tom H. Johansen, Pietro Tierno
Document Type:Article
Parent Title (English):Phys. Rev. Lett.
First Page:058002
Year of first publication:2020
Published in:Phys. Rev. Lett.