July 18, 2019, 4:00 p.m. (CEST)

Fantastic Voyage: Designing Self-Powered Nanobots


July 18, 2019, 4:00 p.m. (CEST)
16:00 Uhr ICP, Allmandring 3, Seminarraum 1.079
Ayusman Sen, Pennsylvania State University, USA

Self-powered nano and microscale moving systems are currently the subject of intense interest due in part to their potential applications in nanomachinery, nanoscale assembly, robotics, fluidics, and chemical/biochemical sensing.  One of the more interesting recent discoveries has been the ability to design nano/microparticles, including molecules, which catalytically harness the chemical energy in their environment to move autonomously.  These "bots" can be directed by chemical and light gradients.  Further, our group has developed systems in which chemical secretions from the translating micro/nanomotors initiate long-range, collective interactions among the particles.  This behavior is reminiscent of quorum sensing organisms that swarm in response to a minimum threshold concentration of a signaling chemical. In addition, an object that moves by generating a continuous surface force in a fluid can, in principle, be used to pump the fluid by the same catalytic mechanism. Thus, by immobilizing the nano/micromotors, we have developed nano/microfluidic pumps that transduce energy catalytically. These non-mechanical pumps provide precise control over flow rate without the aid of an external power source and are capable of turning on in response to specific analytes in solution.

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