Diffusion through a network of compartments separated by partially-transmitting boundaries

Gorka Muñoz-Gil, Miguel Angel Garcia-March, Carlo Manzo, Alessio Celi, Maciej Lewenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

7 Citations (Scopus)


© 2019 Muñoz-Gil, Garcia-March, Manzo, Celi and Lewenstein. We study the random walk of a particle in a compartmentalized environment, as realized in biological samples or solid state compounds. Each compartment is characterized by its length L and the boundaries transmittance T. We identify two relevant spatio-temporal scales that provide alternative descriptions of the dynamics: (i) the microscale, in which the particle position is monitored at constant time intervals; and (ii) the mesoscale, in which it is monitored only when the particle crosses a boundary between compartments. Both descriptions provide-by construction-the same long time behavior. The analytical description obtained at the proposed mesoscale allows for a complete characterization of the complex movement at the microscale, thus representing a fruitful approach for this kind of systems. We show that the presence of disorder in the transmittance is a necessary condition to induce anomalous diffusion, whereas the spatial heterogeneity reduces the degree of subdiffusion and, in some cases, can even compensate for the disorder induced by the stochastic transmittance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number31
JournalFrontiers in Physics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Anomalous diffusion
  • Barriers
  • Complex systems
  • Random walk
  • Stochastic processes


Dive into the research topics of 'Diffusion through a network of compartments separated by partially-transmitting boundaries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this