Self-thermophoretic motion of controlled assembled micro-/nanomotors
As artificial active colloids, micro-/nanomotors (MNMs) can convert energy from the environment into mechanical motion in different fluids, showing potential applications in diverse fields such as targeted drug delivery and photothermal therapy. However, chemical fuels for typical catalytic MNMs, e.g., hydrogen peroxide, are highly toxic to organisms, and thus fuel-free MNMs are required. Recently, we have developed near-infrared light (NIR) propelled MNMs through integrating plasmonic gold nanoshells into nanoparticles or layer-by-layer assemblies in an asymmetric manner. In this perspective, we give an account of self-thermophoresis motion of these NIR-powered MNMs. The design of the motor architectures, as well as the theoretical study on the propulsion mechanism, is highlighted. We believe that the insights into self-thermophoretic motion would pave the way to access powerful MNMs for future applications and to explore interesting collective behaviors of active matter.