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Autonomous movement using a molecular/silica hybrid approach

16 November 2012

PhD ceremony: Mr. R. Roswanda, 16.15 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Proefschrift: Autonomous movement using a molecular/silica hybrid approach

Promotor(s): prof. B.L. Feringa

Faculty: Mathematics and Natural Sciences

One of the most fascinating challenges in nanotechnology is powering and controlling motors. The aim of the research described in this thesis is trying to answer that challenge by creating autonomously moving micro/nano objects that are powered by molecular catalytic propulsion.

The molecular catalytic propulsion is fueled by hydrogen peroxide which is decomposed into water and oxygen by a dinuclear manganese catalyst which is attached the particles. The particles of choice are silica and zeolite L.

The study reveals the size limits at which the force generated by catalytic propulsion will result in autonomous movement before the Brownian motion is overwhelming the system. It is shown that at the submicron size range, the molecular catalytic system attached to silica A (231 ± 35 nm) showed, unexpectedly, a slower diffusion not faster in the presence of hydrogen peroxide.

Further studies are needed to understand the effect of the catalytic reaction of hydrogen peroxide decomposition by the manganese complex on the particle’s movement in this size range.

Last modified:15 September 2017 3.42 p.m.
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