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Keywords:

  • catalysis;
  • chemotaxis;
  • micromotors;
  • osmophoresis;
  • polymers
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Polymer powered! A polymerization reaction has been used to power the first micromotor outside biological systems. The motor employs a form of Grubbs' catalyst asymmetrically bound to gold–silica Janus microspheres (see picture). These motors show increased diffusion of up to 70 % when placed in solutions of the monomer. The motors also exhibit chemotaxis when placed in a monomer gradient.