Raúl A. Rica

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The Carnot cycle imposes a fundamental upper limit to the efficiency of a macroscopic motor operating between two thermal baths1. However, this bound needs to be reinterpreted at microscopic scales, where molecular bio-motors2 and some artificial micro-engines3-5 operate. As described by stochastic thermodynamics6,7, energy transfers in microscopic systems(More)
Electrochemical cells containing two electrodes dipped in an ionic solution are widely used as charge accumulators, either with polarizable (supercapacitor) or nonpolarizable (battery) electrodes. Recent applications include desalination ("capacitive deionization") and energy extraction from salinity differences ("capacitive mixing"). In this Letter, we(More)
The ability to implement adiabatic processes in the mesoscale is of key importance in the study of artificial or biological micro- and nanoengines. Microadiabatic processes have been elusive to experimental implementation due to the difficulty in isolating Brownian particles from their fluctuating environment. Here we report on the experimental realization(More)
PURPOSE A computer model was developed to test the assumption that diffuse neural loss can result in the field loss pattern characteristic of glaucoma. METHODS The anterior visual pathways comprised the retinal ganglion cells, and their axons up to the optic nerve head (ONH) were modeled in a computer program. Axon resistance to stress was accounted for(More)
We investigate the dynamics of single microparticles immersed in water that are driven out of equilibrium in the presence of an additional external colored noise. As a case study, we trap a single polystyrene particle in water with optical tweezers and apply an external electric field with flat spectrum but a finite bandwidth of the order of kHz. The(More)
A model of the electro-diffusion of ions in porous electrodes is applied to analyze the dynamics of capacitive-mixing extraction of energy from salinity gradients with carbon porous electrodes. The complex time-evolution of the cell voltage observed in experiments is satisfactorily described. The asymmetry on the duration of the solution-change steps(More)
An enormous dissipation of the order of 2 kJ/L takes place during the natural mixing process of fresh river water entering the salty sea. “Capacitive mixing” is a promising technique to efficiently harvest this energy in an environmentally clean and sustainable fashion. This method has its roots in the ability to store a very large amount of electric charge(More)
This paper describes an investigation on the electric permittivity of concentrated suspensions of non-spherical particles, specifically prolate spheroids. It is first discussed how the determination of the frequency (omega) dependence of the electric permittivity (a phenomenon traditionally known as LFDD or low-frequency dielectric dispersion) can provide(More)
Stochastic heat engines can be built using colloidal particles trapped using optical tweezers. Here we review recent experimental realizations of microscopic heat engines. We first revisit the theoretical framework of stochastic thermodynamics that allows to describe the fluctuating behavior of the energy fluxes that occur at mesoscopic scales, and then(More)
The "capacitive mixing" (CAPMIX) technique is an emerging technology aimed at the extraction of energy from salinity differences, e.g. between sea and river waters. CAPMIX benefits from the voltage rise that takes place between two electrodes dipped in a saline solution when its salt concentration is changed. Several kinds of electrodes have been proposed(More)