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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2018 Jan 24;10(3):2249-2252. doi: 10.1021/acsami.7b18399. Epub 2018 Jan 8.

Catalytic Micromotors Moving Near Polyelectrolyte-Modified Substrates: The Roles of Surface Charges, Morphology, and Released Ions.

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School of Materials Science and Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology (Shenzhen) , Shenzhen 518055, China.
Department of Chemistry, University of Hong Kong , Hong Kong SAR 999077, China.


Synthetic microswimmers, or micromotors, are finding potential uses in a wide range of applications, most of which involve boundaries. However, subtle yet important effects beyond physical confinement on the motor dynamics remain less understood. In this letter, glass substrates were functionalized with positively and negatively charged polyelectrolytes, and the dynamics of micromotors moving close to the modified surfaces was examined. Using acoustic levitation and numerical simulation, we reveal how the speed of a chemically propelled micromotor slows down significantly near a polyelectrolyte-modified surface by the combined effects of surface charges, surface morphology, and ions released from the films.


electroosmosis; micromotors; self-assembled wrinkles; simulation; ultrasound manipulation


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