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ACS Nano. 2010 Oct 26;4(10):6228-34. doi: 10.1021/nn101861n.

Controlled propulsion and cargo transport of rotating nickel nanowires near a patterned solid surface.

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Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems, ETH Zurich, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland.


We show that rotating Ni nanowires are capable of propulsion and transport of colloidal cargo near a complex surface. When dissimilar boundary conditions exist at the two ends of a nanowire, such as when a nanowire is near a wall, tumbling motion can be generated that leads to propulsion of the nanowire. The motion of the nanowire can be precisely controlled using a uniform rotating magnetic field. We investigate the propulsion mechanism and the trajectory of the nanowire during the tumbling motion and demonstrate cargo transport of a polystyrene microbead by the nanowire over a flat surface or across an open microchannel. The results imply that functionalized, ferromagnetic one-dimensional, tumbling nanostructures can be used for cell manipulation and targeted drug delivery in a low Reynolds number aqueous environment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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