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Prof Yongxiang Gao’s group developed micromotors that run at ultrahigh speed and efficiency in ultralow concentration of H2O2

Post Date:2020-11-12 | Counts:

Recently, the team led by Prof Yongxiang Gao published their work titled ‘Highly efficient chemically-driven micromotors with controlled snowman-like morphology’ on Chemical Communications (IF 5.996). Prof Yongxiang Gao is the corresponding author and Dr Zameer Hussain Shah is the first author of the paper.

Synthetic micro/nanomotors powered by chemical fuels are close imitators of biomolecular motors. They may serve as micromachines to accomplish complex tasks at the small scale, which are of considerable scientific and technological importance in the fields of medicine, environment and energy. However, current synthetic micromotors are generally limited to move at a few body lengths per second in M-level chemical fuels with an energy conversion efficiency of 10-7 or less in comparison to tens of body lengths per second in mM-level fuel with an efficiency on of order of 10-1. This poses significant hurdles to many of the potential applications of micromotors.

In this work, Prof Gao’s team designed a snowman-like micromotor based on hierarchical catalytic silver microparticles. By optimizing their morphology, they showed that these micromotors self-propel in mM level of H2O2 at a speed up to 90 mm/s  (or 40 body length/s) and generate a force of 1 pN and a power of 0.1 fW, approaching those of biomotors. They have improved the energy efficiency of chemically-driven synthetic micromotors by at least two orders of magnitude.

This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (11774237) and the Innovation Program of Guangdong Provincial Department of Education (Project no. 2019KTSCX148).

Link to the publication: