Metal–organic framework micromotors: perspectives for environmental applications
Micromotors possessing a self-propulsion system have been proposed as a new generation of advanced materials for various environmental applications. Due to their actively moving properties, micromotors can significantly improve the operational efficiency of typical environmental remediation (e.g., adsorption and photocatalysis) as well as the dynamic sensing of typical pollutants. The cargo or propellant-loading capability of micromotors can be enhanced by increasing the specific surface area. In this regard, highly porous metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) can be ideal candidates for micromotors with efficient autonomous motion capabilities. Hence, integration of MOFs into micromotors can provide a multitude of new opportunities for specific but uncharacterized applications. However, MOF micromotors remain in their infancy despite exploration on a wide variety. The present study aimed to briefly review the few cases of MOF micromotors reported in the literature with regard to environmental applications. The broader objective was to highlight the remarkable potential of MOF micromotor systems to motivate and increase new research at the intersection of environmental and material engineering.