Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 7, 2013
Previous Article Next Article

Poisoning of bubble propelled catalytic micromotors: the chemical environment matters

Author affiliations

Abstract

Self-propelled catalytic microjets have attracted considerable attention in recent years and these devices have exhibited the ability to move in complex media. The mechanism of propulsion is via the Pt catalysed decomposition of H2O2 and it is understood that the Pt surface is highly susceptible to poisoning by sulphur-containing molecules. Here, we show that important extracellular thiols as well as basic organic molecules can significantly hamper the motion of catalytic microjet engines. This is due to two different mechanisms: (i) molecules such as dimethyl sulfoxide can quench the hydroxyl radicals produced at Pt surfaces and reduce the amount of oxygen gas generated and (ii) molecules containing –SH, –SSR, and –SCH3 moieties can poison the catalytically active platinum surface, inhibiting the motion of the jet engines. It is essential that the presence of such molecules in the environment be taken into consideration for future design and operation of catalytic microjet engines. We show this effect on catalytic micromotors prepared by both rolled-up and electrodeposition approaches, demonstrating that such poisoning is universal for Pt catalyzed micromotors. We believe that our findings will contribute significantly to this field to develop alternative systems or catalysts for self-propulsion when practical applications in the real environment are considered.

Graphical abstract: Poisoning of bubble propelled catalytic micromotors: the chemical environment matters

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 20 Dec 2012, accepted on 04 Feb 2013 and first published on 07 Feb 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3NR34213A
Citation: Nanoscale, 2013,5, 2909-2914
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
  •   Request permissions

    Poisoning of bubble propelled catalytic micromotors: the chemical environment matters

    G. Zhao, S. Sanchez, O. G. Schmidt and M. Pumera, Nanoscale, 2013, 5, 2909
    DOI: 10.1039/C3NR34213A

    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material.

    Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

    • For reproduction of material from NJC:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
      [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
    • For reproduction of material from PPS:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

    Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements