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Issue 9, 2016
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Light-controlled propulsion, aggregation and separation of water-fuelled TiO2/Pt Janus submicromotors and their “on-the-fly” photocatalytic activities

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Abstract

In this work, water-fuelled TiO2/Pt Janus submicromotors with light-controlled motions have been developed by utilizing the asymmetrical photocatalytic water redox reaction over TiO2/Pt Janus submicrospheres under UV irradiation. The motion state, speed, aggregation and separation behaviors of the TiO2/Pt Janus submicromotor can be reversibly, wirelessly and remotely controlled at will by regulating the “on/off” switch, intensity and pulsed/continuous irradiation mode of UV light. The motion of the water-fuelled TiO2/Pt Janus submicromotor is governed by light-induced self-electrophoresis under the local electrical field generated by the asymmetrical water oxidation and reduction reactions on its surface. The TiO2/Pt Janus submicromotors can interact with each other through the light-switchable electrostatic forces, and hence continuous and pulsed UV irradiation can make the TiO2/Pt Janus submicromotors aggregate and separate at will, respectively. Because of the enhanced mass exchange between the environment and active submicromotors, the separated TiO2/Pt Janus submicromotors powered by the pulsed UV irradiation show a much higher activity for the photocatalytic degradation of the organic dye than the aggregated TiO2/Pt submicromotors. The water-fuelled TiO2/Pt Janus submicromotors developed here have some outstanding advantages as “swimming” photocatalysts for organic pollutant remediation in the macro or microenvironment (microchannels and microwells in microchips) because of their small size, long-term stability, wirelessly controllable motion behaviors and long life span.

Graphical abstract: Light-controlled propulsion, aggregation and separation of water-fuelled TiO2/Pt Janus submicromotors and their “on-the-fly” photocatalytic activities

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Publication details

The article was received on 30 Sep 2015, accepted on 01 Nov 2015 and first published on 04 Nov 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5NR06774J
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Citation: Nanoscale, 2016,8, 4976-4983
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    Light-controlled propulsion, aggregation and separation of water-fuelled TiO2/Pt Janus submicromotors and their “on-the-fly” photocatalytic activities

    F. Mou, L. Kong, C. Chen, Z. Chen, L. Xu and J. Guan, Nanoscale, 2016, 8, 4976
    DOI: 10.1039/C5NR06774J

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