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Materials 2013, 6(8), 3598-3609; doi:10.3390/ma6083598

Drift in Diffusion Gradients

Department of Physics, University of Camerino, Camerino I-62032, Italy
Received: 27 June 2013 / Revised: 23 July 2013 / Accepted: 13 August 2013 / Published: 19 August 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diffusion in Micropores and Mesopores 2013)
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The longstanding problem of Brownian transport in a heterogeneous quasi one-dimensional medium with space-dependent self-diffusion coefficient is addressed in the overdamped (zero mass) limit. A satisfactory mesoscopic description is obtained in the Langevin equation formalism by introducing an appropriate drift term, which depends on the system macroscopic observables, namely the diffuser concentration and current. The drift term is related to the microscopic properties of the medium. The paradoxical existence of a finite drift at zero current suggests the possibility of designing a Maxwell demon operating between two equilibrium reservoirs at the same temperature.
Keywords: diffusion; Brownian transport; energy harvesting diffusion; Brownian transport; energy harvesting
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Marchesoni, F. Drift in Diffusion Gradients. Materials 2013, 6, 3598-3609.

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