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Photocatalytic TiO2 Micromotors for Removal of Microplastics and Suspended Matter

submitted on 05.04.2019, 15:05 and posted on 08.04.2019, 14:49 by Linlin Wang, Andrea Kaeppler, Dieter Fischer, Juliane Simmchen

Environmental contamination is a major global challenge and the effects of contamination are found in most habitats. In recent times, the pollution by microplastics has come to the global attention and their removal displays an extraordinary challenge with no reasonable solutions presented so far. One of the new technologies holding many promises for environmental remediation on the microscale are self-propelled micromotors. They present several properties that are of academic and technical interest, such as the ability to overcome the diffusion limitation in catalytic processes and their phoretic interaction with their environment. Here, we present two novel strategies for the elimination of microplastics using photocatalytic Au@Ni@TiO2 -based micromotors. We show that individual catalytic particles as well as assembled chains show excellent collection and removal of suspended matter and microplastics from natural water samples.


Volkswagen foundation Freigeist fellowship (grant number 91619)

Kärcher foundation (Forschungsprojekt)

CSC PhD fellowship Linlin Wang

BONUS MICROPOLL project funded jointly by the EU and BMBF (03F0775A)

MirkOMIK German Leibniz Association (grant number SAW-2014-IOW-2)


Email Address of Submitting Author


TU Dresden



ORCID For Submitting Author


Declaration of Conflict of Interest

We declare there is no conflict of interest.