Highly efficient catalytic microengines: template electrosynthesis of polyaniline/platinum microtubes

J Am Chem Soc. 2011 Aug 10;133(31):11862-4. doi: 10.1021/ja203773g. Epub 2011 Jul 18.


Highly efficient catalytic microtubular engines are synthesized rapidly and inexpensively using an electrochemical growth of bilayer polyaniline/platinum microtubes within the conically shaped pores of a polycarbonate template membrane. These mass-produced microtubular engines are only 8 μm long, are self-propelled at an ultrafast speed (of over 350 body lengths s(-1)), and can operate in very low levels of the hydrogen peroxide fuel (down to 0.2%). The propulsion characteristics and optimization of these microtubular engines are described, along with their efficient operation in different biological environments which holds great promise for biomedical applications.