Activation of atomic transport via vibrational coupling-induced force fluctuations

Y Noh and NR Aluru, APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS, 123, 091601 (2023).

DOI: 10.1063/5.0160780

Vibrational coupling, although well-explored in many fields, has seldom been investigated in the context of mass transport. In this Letter, we examine the impact of vibrational coupling on atomic transport using simple molecular dynamics simulations. Our study shows that the atomic transport can be activated when the natural frequency of the atomic slit is close to the natural frequency of the atom being transported. We uncover the presence of fluctuating forces induced by vibrational coupling with higher amplitudes observed when the coupling is strong. We show that the transport activation mechanism is due to the high force fluctuations that arise during strong vibrational coupling allowing the atom to temporarily surpass the transport barrier of the slit. Our findings will serve as a foundation for the continued examination of vibrational coupling in the realm of mass transport.

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