Local field controlled switching in a one-dimensional dipolar array

Jeroen J. De Jonge, Mark A. Ratner*, Simon W. De Leeuw

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


We use computational Langevin dynamics simulations to show that the orientation of the dipolar rotors in a one-dimensional chain can be controlled using a local field. Flipping the direction of the field initiates a process in which each of the chain dipoles may switch its orientation. We define the conditions for which the dipole chain remains in one of its two stable orientations. We observe the switching mechanism between these two stable orientations using a local electric field generated by a fixed control dipole, and the effectiveness of the switching process as a function of temperature, rotational friction coefficient, length of the array, and magnitude of the control dipole. We show two examples of curved chains where this process is possible as well. We model molecular dipolar rotors as point dipoles and show that we can transfer a signal along a one-dimensional chain. The propagated signal is not a photon, phonon, or charge, but is rather mechanical. One could argue that this is the smallest array of mechanical gears.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3770-3777
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number9
StatePublished - Mar 8 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Energy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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