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Issue 12, 2011
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Dynamics of catalytic tubular microjet engines: Dependence on geometry and chemical environment

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Abstract

Strain-engineered tubular microjet engines with various geometric dimensions hold interesting autonomous motions in an aqueous fuel solution when propelled by catalytic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide to oxygen and water. The catalytically-generated oxygen bubbles expelled from microtubular cavities propel the microjet step by step in discrete increments. We focus on the dynamics of our tubular microjets in one step and build up a body deformation model to elucidate the interaction between tubular microjets and the bubbles they produce. The average microjet velocity is calculated analytically based on our model and the obtained results demonstrate that the velocity of the microjet increases linearly with the concentration of hydrogen peroxide. The geometric dimensions of the microjet, such as length and radius, also influence its dynamic characteristics significantly. A close consistency between experimental and calculated results is achieved despite a small deviation due to the existence of an approximation in the model. The results presented in this work improve our understanding regarding catalytic motions of tubular microjets and demonstrate the controllability of the microjet which may have potential applications in drug delivery and biology.

Graphical abstract: Dynamics of catalytic tubular microjet engines: Dependence on geometry and chemical environment

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 Jul 2011, accepted on 21 Sep 2011 and first published on 07 Nov 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1NR10840A
Nanoscale, 2011,3, 5083-5089

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    Dynamics of catalytic tubular microjet engines: Dependence on geometry and chemical environment

    J. Li, G. Huang, M. Ye, M. Li, R. Liu and Y. Mei, Nanoscale, 2011, 3, 5083
    DOI: 10.1039/C1NR10840A

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