Biobased High-Performance Rotary Micromotors for Individually Reconfigurable Micromachine Arrays and Microfluidic Applications
mediaposted on 2016-12-29, 00:00 authored by Kwanoh Kim, Zexi Liang, Minliang Liu, Donglei “Emma” Fan
In this work, we report an innovative type of rotary biomicromachines by using diatom frustules as integrated active components, including the assembling, operation, and performance characterization. We further investigate and demonstrate unique applications of the biomicromachines in achieving individually reconfigurable micromachine arrays and microfluidic mixing. Diatom frustules are porous cell walls of diatoms made of silica. We assembled rotary micromachines consisting of diatom frustules serving as rotors and patterned magnets serving as bearings in electric fields. Ordered arrays of micromotors can be integrated and rotated with controlled orientation and a speed up to ∼3000 rpm, one of the highest rotational speeds in biomaterial-based rotary micromachines. Moreover, by exploiting the distinct electromechanical properties of diatom frustules and metallic nanowires, we realized the first reconfigurable rotary micro/nanomachine arrays with controllability in individual motors. Finally, the diatom micromachines are successfully integrated in microfluidic channels and operated as mixers. This work demonstrated the high-performance rotary micromachines by using bioinspired diatom frustules and their applications, which are essential for low-cost bio-microelectromechanical system/nanoelectromechanical system (bio-MEMS/NEMS) devices and relevant to microfluidics.