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Vapor-Driven Propulsion of Catalytic Micromotors

Dong, Renfeng and Li, Jinxing and Rozen, Isaac and Ezhilan, Barath and Xu, Tailin and Christianson, Caleb and Gao, Wei and Saintillan, David and Ren, Biye and Wang, Joseph (2015) Vapor-Driven Propulsion of Catalytic Micromotors. Scientific Reports, 5 . Art. No. 13226. ISSN 2045-2322. PMCID PMC4540091.

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Chemically-powered micromotors offer exciting opportunities in diverse fields, including therapeutic delivery, environmental remediation, and nanoscale manufacturing. However, these nanovehicles require direct addition of high concentration of chemical fuel to the motor solution for their propulsion. We report the efficient vapor-powered propulsion of catalytic micromotors without direct addition of fuel to the micromotor solution. Diffusion of hydrazine vapor from the surrounding atmosphere into the sample solution is instead used to trigger rapid movement of iridium-gold Janus microsphere motors. Such operation creates a new type of remotely-triggered and powered catalytic micro/nanomotors that are responsive to their surrounding environment. This new propulsion mechanism is accompanied by unique phenomena, such as the distinct off-on response to the presence of fuel in the surrounding atmosphere, and spatio-temporal dependence of the motor speed borne out of the concentration gradient evolution within the motor solution. The relationship between the motor speed and the variables affecting the fuel concentration distribution is examined using a theoretical model for hydrazine transport, which is in turn used to explain the observed phenomena. The vapor-powered catalytic micro/nanomotors offer new opportunities in gas sensing, threat detection, and environmental monitoring, and open the door for a new class of environmentally-triggered micromotors.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Dong, Renfeng0000-0001-7590-5750
Xu, Tailin0000-0003-4037-2856
Gao, Wei0000-0002-8503-4562
Ren, Biye0000-0003-0131-8750
Additional Information:© 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit Received:09 April 2015. Accepted:20 July 2015. Published online:18 August 2015. This project received support from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency-Joint Science and Technology Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (Grant no. HDTRA1-13-1-0002), UCSD Calit2 Strategic Research Opportunities (CSRO) program (to J.W.) and from NSF Grant No. CBET-1151590 (to D.S.). R.D. and T.X. acknowledges the China Scholarship Council (CSC) for financial support. The authors thank M. Kang and J. Uy for their help. Author Contributions: R.D., I.R. and J.L. performed the experiments. J.L., T.X., I.R., B.E., B.R., C.C. and W.G. analysed the data. B.E., D.S. performed the modelling. J.L., R.D., I.R., B.E. and J.W. wrote the manuscript. All the authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript. The authors declare no competing financial interests.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)HDTRA1-13-1-0002
China Scholarship CouncilUNSPECIFIED
PubMed Central ID:PMC4540091
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170922-151718229
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Official Citation:Dong, R. et al. Vapor-Driven Propulsion of Catalytic Micromotors. Sci. Rep. 5, 13226; doi: 10.1038/srep13226 (2015).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:81774
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:23 Sep 2017 01:45
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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