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Surface Wettability-Directed Propulsion of Glucose-Powered Nanoflask Motors

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journal contribution
posted on 18.10.2019, 13:36 by Changyong Gao, Chang Zhou, Zhihua Lin, Mingcheng Yang, Qiang He
Chemically driven colloidal motors capable of implementing different movements under a common environment are of great importance for various complex tasks. However, the key parameters underlying different motion behaviors are incompletely understood. Here, we demonstrate that carbonaceous nanoflask (CNF) motors move spontaneously in glucose powered by the cascade reaction of glucose oxidase and catalase, and their directional propulsion can be premeditated by controlling the surface wettability of nanomotors. The hydrophilic CNF motors move from the round-bottom to the opening neck (backward), whereas the hydrophobic CNF motors swim from the opening neck to the round-bottom (forward). We demonstrate that the backward motion of the hydrophilic CNF motors is driven by the local glucose gradient due to self-diffusiophoresis, and the forward movement of the hydrophobic CNF motors is caused by the locally produced glucose acid gradient. The fluid simulation reveals that the hydrophilic and hydrophobic CNF motors correspond to the puller and pusher models, respectively. Our study offers a minimal strategy to manipulate the direction of motion of motors for specific applications and to change the hydrodynamic behaviors of glucose-powered motors.

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