Particle dynamics in two-dimensional random energy landscapes - experiments and simulations
The dynamics of individual colloidal particles in random potential energy landscapes were investigated experimentally and by Monte Carlo simulations. The value of the potential at each point in the two-dimensional energy landscape follows a Gaussian distribution. The width of the distribution, and hence the degree of roughness of the energy landscape, was varied and its effect on the particle dynamics studied. In the experiments, the energy landscapes were generated optically using a holographic set-up with a spatial light modulator, and the particle trajectories followed by video microscopy. The dynamics are characterized using, e.g., the time-dependent diffusion coefficient, the mean squared displacement, the van Hove function and the non-Gaussian parameter. The dynamics are initially diffusive, show an extended sub-diffusive regime at intermediate times before diffusive motion is recovered at very long times. Compared to the dynamics in a one-dimensional potential energy landscape, the localization at intermediate times is weaker and the diffusive regime at long times reached earlier, which is due to the possibility to avoid local maxima in two-dimensional energy landscapes.