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Hydro-ionic microthruster for locomotion in low-Reynold's number ionic fluids

Magley, Daniel L. and Narasimhan, Vinayak and Choo, Hyuck (2017) Hydro-ionic microthruster for locomotion in low-Reynold's number ionic fluids. In: IEEE 30th International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems. IEEE , Piscataway, NJ, pp. 773-776. ISBN 978-1-5090-5078-9.

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We have demonstrated a fast, extremely power-efficient, hydro-ionic microthruster that utilizes electro-osmotic propulsion for operation in a low Reynolds-number ionic environment. Powered by an onboard power supply, the microthruster achieves speeds of up to 5.24 cm/s (131 body-lengths/s) while consuming less than 252 nW/(Bodylength/s). It is 31% faster and ∼10^3 times more energy-efficient than prior designs. Including the onboard Al-air battery consisting of an Al anode and an Au cathode, the microthruster measures 1400μm (H) × 1400μm (W) × 400μm (L) in dimension and contains a 1000μm-wide, 300μm-long cylindrical thruster channel in the center. With significantly improved speed and drastically higher energy-efficiency, the microthruster opens up new possibilities for various self-powered biomedical applications that can operate within the power budget of modern implantable and integrable microscale batteries and bio-fuel cells.

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle
Narasimhan, Vinayak0000-0003-4165-402X
Choo, Hyuck0000-0002-8903-7939
Additional Information:© 2017 IEEE. We would like to thank the Kirk and Marjory Dawson SURF Endowment, Heritage Medical Research Institute, and the Powell Foundation for their funding support.
Group:Heritage Medical Research Institute
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Kirk and Marjory Dawson SURF EndowmentUNSPECIFIED
Heritage Medical Research InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Charles Lee Powell FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)UNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170303-104552700
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:D. L. Magley, V. Narasimhan and H. Choo, "Hydro-ionic microthruster for locomotion in low-Reynold'S number ionic fluids," 2017 IEEE 30th International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS), Las Vegas, NV, USA, 2017, pp. 773-776. doi: 10.1109/MEMSYS.2017.7863522 URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:74694
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:03 Mar 2017 18:54
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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