Propulsion of microobjects by dynamic bipolar self-regeneration

J Am Chem Soc. 2010 Nov 17;132(45):15918-9. doi: 10.1021/ja107644x. Epub 2010 Oct 21.


Dynamic bipolar self-regeneration is a new mechanism that allows controlled motion of metallic microobjects to be induced. This technique is based on the concept of bipolar electrochemistry, in which different redox reactions occur at the two extremities of a substrate under the influence of an external electric field. To create the motion of a metallic object, one end has to be the site of metal deposition and the other the site of metal dissolution. Propulsion of zinc macro- and microswimmers at speeds of up to 80 μm s(-1) has been achieved.