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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2016 Aug 3;8(30):19618-25. doi: 10.1021/acsami.6b05824. Epub 2016 Jul 19.

Ultrafast Nanocrystals Decorated Micromotors for On-Site Dynamic Chemical Processes.

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Department of Analytical Chemistry, Physical Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, University of Alcala , Alcala de Henares, Madrid E-28871, Spain.
Department of Nanoengineering, University of California , San Diego, La Jolla 92093, United States.


CdS-polyaniline-Pt and ZnS-polyaniline-Pt micromotors have been synthesized and characterized. The nanocrystals are generated "in situ" during the template electrosynthesis of the micromotors while being simultaneously trapped in the polymeric network, generating a hybrid structure. The presence of nanocrystal "edges" in the inner polyaniline layer result in a rough Pt catalytic surface and enhanced electron transfer for highly efficient bubble propulsion at remarkable speeds of over 2500 μm/s. The incorporation of CdS and ZnS nanocrystals impart several attractive functions, including cation-exchange based chemical transformation capabilities and enhanced photocatalytic performance. The remarkable ion-exchange properties of ZnS-polyaniline (PANI)-Pt micromotors are illustrated for the cation exchange of heavy metals cations. The superior photocatalytic performance of CdS-PANI-Pt micromotors is used for the enhanced photocatalytic oxidation of bisphenol A. Such self-propelled micromotors act as highly efficient dynamic platforms that offer significantly shorter and more efficient processes as compared with common static operations. The attractive properties of these micromotors will pave the way for diverse sensing, decontamination, energy generation, or electronic applications.


cation-exchange; micro/nanomotors; nanocrystals; photocatalytic degradation; quantum dots; self-propulsion


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