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Micromachines 2018, 9(1), 23;

Hydrophobic Janus Foam Motors: Self-Propulsion and On-The-Fly Oil Absorption

State Key Laboratory of Advanced Technology for Materials Synthesis and Processing, International School of Materials Science and Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 December 2017 / Revised: 7 January 2018 / Accepted: 9 January 2018 / Published: 11 January 2018
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In this work, we for the first time have proposed and fabricated a self-propelled Janus foam motor for on-the-fly oil absorption on water by simply loading camphor/stearic acid (SA) mixture as fuels into one end of the SA-modified polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) foam. The as-fabricated Janus foam motors show an efficient Marangoni effect-based self-propulsion on water for a long lifetime due to the effective inhibition of the rapid release of camphor by the hydrophobic SA in the fuel mixture. Furthermore, they can automatically search, capture, and absorb oil droplets on the fly, and then be spontaneously self-assembled after oil absorption due to the self-propulsion of the motors as well as the attractive capillary interactions between the motors and oil droplets. This facilitates the subsequent collection of the motors from water after the treatment. Since the as-developed Janus foam motors can effectively integrate intriguing behaviors of the self-propulsion, efficient oil capture, and spontaneous self-assembly, they hold great promise for practical applications in water treatment. View Full-Text
Keywords: self-propulsion; oil/water separation; foam; capillary interaction; Marangoni effect self-propulsion; oil/water separation; foam; capillary interaction; Marangoni effect

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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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Li, X.; Mou, F.; Guo, J.; Deng, Z.; Chen, C.; Xu, L.; Luo, M.; Guan, J. Hydrophobic Janus Foam Motors: Self-Propulsion and On-The-Fly Oil Absorption. Micromachines 2018, 9, 23.

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