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Disintegrating polymer multilayers to jump-start colloidal micromotors

Disintegrating polymer multilayers to jump-start colloidal micromotors
Disintegrating polymer multilayers to jump-start colloidal micromotors

Colloidal systems with autonomous mobility are attractive alternatives to static particles for diverse applications. We present a complementary approach using pH-triggered disintegrating polymer multilayers for self-propulsion of swimmers. It is illustrated both experimentally and theoretically that homogenously coated swimmers exhibit higher velocity in comparison to their Janus-shaped counterparts. These swimmers show directional and random motion in microfluidic channels with a steep and shallow pH gradient, respectively. Further, a higher number of deposited polymer multilayers, steeper pH gradients and lower mass of the swimmers result in higher self-propulsion velocities. This new self-propulsion mechanism opens up unique opportunities to design, for instance, fast and yet biocompatible swimmers using the diverse tools of polymer chemistry to custom-synthesise the polymeric building blocks to assemble multilayers.

2040-3364
733-741
Fernández-Medina, Marina
3874a8e5-79af-40e3-9b06-88173c7648f6
Qian, Xiaomin
bc98e7fe-e579-4ce5-8c27-d6adf3a94df3
Hovorka, Ondrej
a12bd550-ad45-4963-aa26-dd81dd1609ee
Städler, Brigitte
75cc5b8f-414e-4ebf-a990-f8d5e876655d
Fernández-Medina, Marina
3874a8e5-79af-40e3-9b06-88173c7648f6
Qian, Xiaomin
bc98e7fe-e579-4ce5-8c27-d6adf3a94df3
Hovorka, Ondrej
a12bd550-ad45-4963-aa26-dd81dd1609ee
Städler, Brigitte
75cc5b8f-414e-4ebf-a990-f8d5e876655d

Fernández-Medina, Marina, Qian, Xiaomin, Hovorka, Ondrej and Städler, Brigitte (2019) Disintegrating polymer multilayers to jump-start colloidal micromotors. Nanoscale, 11 (2), 733-741. (doi:10.1039/c8nr08071b).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Colloidal systems with autonomous mobility are attractive alternatives to static particles for diverse applications. We present a complementary approach using pH-triggered disintegrating polymer multilayers for self-propulsion of swimmers. It is illustrated both experimentally and theoretically that homogenously coated swimmers exhibit higher velocity in comparison to their Janus-shaped counterparts. These swimmers show directional and random motion in microfluidic channels with a steep and shallow pH gradient, respectively. Further, a higher number of deposited polymer multilayers, steeper pH gradients and lower mass of the swimmers result in higher self-propulsion velocities. This new self-propulsion mechanism opens up unique opportunities to design, for instance, fast and yet biocompatible swimmers using the diverse tools of polymer chemistry to custom-synthesise the polymeric building blocks to assemble multilayers.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 11 December 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 12 December 2018
Published date: 14 January 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 428964
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/428964
ISSN: 2040-3364
PURE UUID: dd159642-f0b9-49cb-938c-985fbb823f74

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 15 Mar 2019 17:30
Last modified: 15 Mar 2019 17:30

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Contributors

Author: Marina Fernández-Medina
Author: Xiaomin Qian
Author: Ondrej Hovorka
Author: Brigitte Städler

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