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Micromachines 2017, 8(4), 123; doi:10.3390/mi8040123

The Self-Propulsion of the Spherical Pt–SiO2 Janus Micro-Motor

1
School of Environment and Municipal Engineering, Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology, Xi’an 710055, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Nonlinear Mechanics, Institute of Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Hengdong Xi
Received: 22 February 2017 / Revised: 5 April 2017 / Accepted: 5 April 2017 / Published: 12 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insights and Advancements in Microfluidics)
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Abstract

The double-faced Janus micro-motor, which utilizes the heterogeneity between its two hemispheres to generate self-propulsion, has shown great potential in water cleaning, drug delivery in micro/nanofluidics, and provision of power for a novel micro-robot. In this paper, we focus on the self-propulsion of a platinum–silica (Pt–SiO2) spherical Janus micro-motor (JM), which is one of the simplest micro-motors, suspended in a hydrogen peroxide solution (H2O2). Due to the catalytic decomposition of H2O2 on the Pt side, the JM is propelled by the established concentration gradient known as diffusoiphoretic motion. Furthermore, as the JM size increases to O (10 μm), oxygen molecules nucleate on the Pt surface, forming microbubbles. In this case, a fast bubble propulsion is realized by the microbubble cavitation-induced jet flow. We systematically review the results of the above two distinct mechanisms: self-diffusiophoresis and microbubble propulsion. Their typical behaviors are demonstrated, based mainly on experimental observations. The theoretical description and the numerical approach are also introduced. We show that this tiny motor, though it has a very simple structure, relies on sophisticated physical principles and can be used to fulfill many novel functions. View Full-Text
Keywords: Janus micromotor; self-diffusiophoresis; bubble propulsion Janus micromotor; self-diffusiophoresis; bubble propulsion
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Zhang, J.; Zheng, X.; Cui, H.; Silber-Li, Z. The Self-Propulsion of the Spherical Pt–SiO2 Janus Micro-Motor. Micromachines 2017, 8, 123.

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