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Issue 11, 2015
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Nanoparticle mediated micromotor motion

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Abstract

In this paper, we report the utilization of nanoparticles to mediate the motion of a polymer single crystal catalytic micromotor. Micromotors have been fabricated by directly self-assembling functional nanoparticles (platinum and iron oxide nanoparticles) onto one or both sides of two-dimensional polymer single crystals. We show that the moving velocity of these micromotors in fluids can be readily tuned by controlling the nanoparticles’ surface wettability and catalytic activity. A 3 times velocity increase has been achieved for a hydrophobic micromotor as opposed to the hydrophilic ones. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the catalytic activity of platinum nanoparticles inside the micromotor can be enhanced by their synergetic interactions with iron oxide nanoparticles and an electric field. Both strategies lead to dramatically increased moving velocities, with the highest value reaching ∼200 μm s−1. By decreasing the nanoparticles’ surface wettability and increasing their catalytic activity, a maximum of a ∼10-fold increase in the moving speed of the nanoparticle based micromotor can be achieved. Our results demonstrate the advantages of using nanoparticles in micromotor systems.

Graphical abstract: Nanoparticle mediated micromotor motion

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Publication details

The article was received on 22 Dec 2014, accepted on 05 Feb 2015 and first published on 06 Feb 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4NR07558G
Citation: Nanoscale, 2015,7, 4949-4955
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    Nanoparticle mediated micromotor motion

    M. Liu, L. Liu, W. Gao, M. Su, Y. Ge, L. Shi, H. Zhang, B. Dong and C. Y. Li, Nanoscale, 2015, 7, 4949
    DOI: 10.1039/C4NR07558G

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