Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Turbocharged Nanomotors

31.10.2008
Silver/gold alloy makes hydrogen peroxide fuelled nanorod move especially fast

Nanorobots that are introduced into the body to eradicate tumor cells or clean out clogged arteries are not just science fiction; they are a realistic vision of the technological possibilities of the not-so-distant future.

Efficient nanomotors will be needed to drive these nanomachines. A team of scientists from University of California, San Diego (USA) and Arizona State University (Tempe, USA) has now developed nanorods that swim extremely fast.

“These nanorods travel about 75 times their own length in one second,” report Joseph Wang and his co-workers in the journal Angewandte Chemie. “We are approaching the speed of the most efficient biological nanomotors, including flagellated bacteria.”

The first simple applications for nanomotors could include rapid transportation of pharmaceutical agents to specific target areas, or the passage of specimen molecules through the tiny channels of diagnostic systems on a microchip.

However, forward motion through a liquid is not as trivial as one would like to think. One method for the construction of nanomotors that can achieve this is the fuel-driven catalytic nanowire. These are tiny nanoscopic rods whose ends are made of two different metals. Unlike macroscopic motors, they do not have a fuel tank; instead they move through a medium that contains the fuel they need.

The “classic” example of such a system is a gold–platinum nanotube that can travel at speeds of 10 to 20 µm per second with hydrogen peroxide as its fuel. Wang and his team have now dramatically accelerated these nanorod motors: they have achieved speeds of over 150 µm per second by replacing the gold portion with an alloy of silver and gold. How does the nanomotor work? The platinum segment catalyzes the splitting of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) into oxygen (O2) and protons (H+). It absorbs the excess electrons.

These are transferred to the silver/gold segment, where they speed up the reduction reaction of H2O2 and protons to make water. The release of oxygen and water produces a small current, which drives the nanorod through the fluid, platinum side first. “The silver/gold alloy causes the electrons to be transferred more quickly,” explains Wang. “This increases the fuel decomposition rate and the nanorod is accelerated faster.” The speed of the nanorods can be tailored by changing the proportion of silver in the alloy. “Fuel additives or variations of the platinum segment will make these rods even faster,” predicts Wang.

Author: Joseph Wang, University of California, San Diego (USA), http://nanoengineering.ucsd.edu/~joewang/

Title: Ultrafast Catalytic Alloy Nanomotors

Angewandte Chemie International Edition, doi: 10.1002/anie.200803841

Joseph Wang | Angewandte Chemie
Further information:
http://pressroom.angewandte.or
http://nanoengineering.ucsd.edu/~joewang/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Embryonic development: How do limbs develop from cells?
18.05.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

nachricht Reading histone modifications, an oncoprotein is modified in return
18.05.2018 | American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

Im Focus: Light-induced superconductivity under high pressure

A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.

Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat

18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

CrowdWater: An App for Flood Research

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>