Jump to main content
Jump to site search

ZnO-based Microrockets with Light-enhanced Propulsion


Improving the propulsion of artificial micro-nanomotors represents an exciting nanotechnology challenge, especially considering their cargo delivery ability and fuel efficiency. In light of the excellent photocatalytic performance of zinc oxide (ZnO) and chemical catalytic properties of platinum (Pt), ZnO-Pt microrockets with light-enhanced propulsion have been developed by atomic layer deposition (ALD) technology. The velocity of such microrockets is dramatically doubled upon irradiation by 77 mW/cm2 ultraviolet (UV) light in 10% H2O2 and is almost 3 times higher than the classic Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)-Pt microrockets (PEDOT-Pt microrockets) even in 6% H2O2 under the same UV light. In addition, such micromotors not only retain the standard approach to improve the propulsion by varying fuel concentration, but also demonstrate a simple way to enhance movement velocity by adjusting UV light intensity. High reversibility and controllable “weak/strong” propulsion can be easily achieved by switching the UV irradiation on or off. Finally, the light-enhanced propulsion has been investigated by electrochemical measurements which further confirm the enhanced photocatalytic properties of ZnO and Pt. The successful demonstration of ZnO-based microrockets with excellent light-enhanced propulsion is significant for developing highly efficient synthetic micro-nanomotors which have strong delivery ability and economic fuel requirements for future practical applications in the micro-nanoscale world.

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 16 Jul 2017, accepted on 07 Sep 2017 and first published on 08 Sep 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR05168A
Citation: Nanoscale, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
  •   Request permissions

    ZnO-based Microrockets with Light-enhanced Propulsion

    R. Dong, C. Wang, Q. Wang, A. Pei, X. She, Y. Zhang and Y. Cai, Nanoscale, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7NR05168A

Search articles by author