Self-powered micromachines are considered a ground-breaking technology for environmental remediation. Light-powered Janus microrobots based on photocatalytic semiconductors asymmetrically covered with metals have recently received great interest as they can exploit light to move and contemporarily degrade pollutants in water. Although various metals have been explored and compared to design Janus microrobots, the influence of the metal layer thickness on motion behavior and photocatalytic properties of microrobots have not been investigated yet. Here, light-driven hematite/Pt Janus microrobots are reported and fabricated by depositing Pt layers with different thickness on hematite microspheres produced by hydrothermal synthesis. It has been demonstrated that the thicker the metal layer the higher the microrobots speed. However, when employed for the degradation of nitroaromatic explosives pollutants through the photo-Fenton mechanism, higher rate of H2 O2 consumption leads to higher propulsion speed of microrobots and lower pollutants degradation efficiencies owing to less H2 O2 involved in the photo-Fenton reaction. This work presents new insights into the motion behavior of light-powered Janus micromotors and demonstrates that high speed is not what really matters for water purification via photo-Fenton reaction, which is important for the future environmental applications of micromachines.

Photo-Fenton Degradation of Nitroaromatic Explosives by Light-Powered Hematite Microrobots: When Higher Speed Is Not What We Go For

Urso, Mario;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Self-powered micromachines are considered a ground-breaking technology for environmental remediation. Light-powered Janus microrobots based on photocatalytic semiconductors asymmetrically covered with metals have recently received great interest as they can exploit light to move and contemporarily degrade pollutants in water. Although various metals have been explored and compared to design Janus microrobots, the influence of the metal layer thickness on motion behavior and photocatalytic properties of microrobots have not been investigated yet. Here, light-driven hematite/Pt Janus microrobots are reported and fabricated by depositing Pt layers with different thickness on hematite microspheres produced by hydrothermal synthesis. It has been demonstrated that the thicker the metal layer the higher the microrobots speed. However, when employed for the degradation of nitroaromatic explosives pollutants through the photo-Fenton mechanism, higher rate of H2 O2 consumption leads to higher propulsion speed of microrobots and lower pollutants degradation efficiencies owing to less H2 O2 involved in the photo-Fenton reaction. This work presents new insights into the motion behavior of light-powered Janus micromotors and demonstrates that high speed is not what really matters for water purification via photo-Fenton reaction, which is important for the future environmental applications of micromachines.
micromotors
microrobots
photocatalysis
pollutants
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/546671
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