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Chemical micromotors self-assemble and self-propel by spontaneous symmetry breaking

2018

Article

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Self-propelling chemical motors have thus far required the fabrication of Janus particles with an asymmetric catalyst distribution. Here, we demonstrate that simple, isotropic colloids can spontaneously assemble to yield dimer motors that self-propel. In a mixture of isotropic titanium dioxide colloids with photo-chemical catalytic activity and passive silica colloids, light illumination causes diffusiophoretic attractions between the active and passive particles and leads to the formation of dimers. The dimers constitute a symmetry-broken motor, whose dynamics can be fully controlled by the illumination conditions. Computer simulations reproduce the dynamics of the colloids and are in good agreement with experiments. The current work presents a simple route to obtain large numbers of self-propelling chemical motors from a dispersion of spherically symmetric colloids through spontaneous symmetry breaking.

Author(s): Yu, Tingting and Chuphal, Prabha and Thakur, Snigdha and Reigh, Shang Yik and Singh, Dhruv P. and Fischer, Peer
Journal: Chem. Comm.
Volume: 54
Pages: 11933-11936
Year: 2018
Month: August
Day: 09

Department(s): Micro, Nano, and Molecular Systems
Bibtex Type: Article (article)

DOI: 10.1039/C8CC06467A
State: Published
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C8CC06467A

BibTex

@article{2018yu,
  title = {Chemical micromotors self-assemble and self-propel by spontaneous symmetry breaking},
  author = {Yu, Tingting and Chuphal, Prabha and Thakur, Snigdha and Reigh, Shang Yik and Singh, Dhruv P. and Fischer, Peer},
  journal = {Chem. Comm.},
  volume = {54},
  pages = {11933-11936},
  month = aug,
  year = {2018},
  url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C8CC06467A},
  month_numeric = {8}
}