Lithographically fabricated 10-micron scale autonomous motors

Yang Wang, Shih To Fei, Vincent H. Crespi, Ayusman Sen, Thomas E. Mallouk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Self-propulsion and directed movement of nano- and micro-particles can in principle provide novel components for applications in microrobotics and MEMS. Our research involves the design of catalytic propulsion systems and the control of colloidal movement based on this principle. We have designed autonomous nanomotors that mimic biological motors by using catalytic reactions to generate forces derived from chemical gradients. Through architectural control of bimetallic catalytic particles, we have recently developed systems that undergo more complex movement. For example, we have constructed 10-micron scale rotary motors by contact lithography. In these chiral motors, bimetallic Au-Pt patterns are free-standing and move in the pattern predicted by theory. These studies demonstrate that by designing the proper architecture, one can tailor the pattern of movement to specific applications, such as changing from translational to rotational movement. The potential for elaboration of these designs to more complex micro-machine assemblies is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDesign, Fabrication, and Self Assembly of "Patchy" and Anisometric Particles
PublisherMaterials Research Society
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9781615677689
StatePublished - 2008
Event2008 MRS Fall Meeting - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: Dec 1 2008Dec 5 2008

Publication series

NameMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0272-9172


Other2008 MRS Fall Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBoston, MA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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