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Issue 8, 2012
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Vapour-driven Marangoni propulsion: continuous, prolonged and tunable motion

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Abstract

We show the vapour-driven Marangoni effect as a new paradigm for the continuous self-propulsion of floating soft machines by transduction of chemical energy to motility, featuring a prolonged locomotion at steady velocity with a small amount of on-board fuel. The propulsion is induced by modification of the liquid surface using organic vapour transported through a nanocellulose aerogel membrane. The steady velocity is achieved through a continuous supply of fuel vapour that lowers the surface tension of the liquid, combined with the spontaneous recovery of the surface tension after the floating machine has passed. The membranes are gas permeable from their open-porous nanofibrillar structure and float on water and oils due to their superhydrophobic and superoleophobic nature. The velocity is tunable by selecting solvents with different vapour pressure.

Graphical abstract: Vapour-driven Marangoni propulsion: continuous, prolonged and tunable motion

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Publication details

The article was received on 20 Mar 2012, accepted on 24 May 2012 and first published on 24 May 2012


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C2SC20355C
Citation: Chem. Sci., 2012,3, 2526-2529
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    Vapour-driven Marangoni propulsion: continuous, prolonged and tunable motion

    H. Jin, A. Marmur, O. Ikkala and R. H. A. Ras, Chem. Sci., 2012, 3, 2526
    DOI: 10.1039/C2SC20355C

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