A scalable galvanic approach to microswimmer synthesis

03 September 2021, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Microswimmers are small particles capable of converting available energy sources into propulsion owing to their compositional asymmetry and are promising for applications ranging from targeted delivery to enhanced mixing at the microscale. However, current fabrication techniques demonstrate limited scalability and/or rely on the excessive use of expensive precursor materials. Here, a scalable Pickering-wax emulsion technique is combined with galvanic electrochemistry, to grow platinum films from copper nanoparticles asymmetrically seeded onto SiO\textsubscript{2} microparticle supports. In this manner, large quantities of Pt-SiO\textsubscript{2} Janus microswimmers are obtained. Utilising copper as a templating material not only reduces synthesis time, material costs, and toxic waste, but also facilitates the further extension of this methodology to a range of functional materials. This electrochemical approach builds upon previous attempts to overcome the current limitations in microswimmer synthesis and offers exciting opportunities for their future development.


Active matter
Active colloids
Galvanic exchange
Active Brownian motion

Supplementary materials

Supplementary Information: A scalable galvanic approach to microswimmer synthesis
Supplementary information to the manuscript: "A scalable galvanic approach to microswimmer synthesis"


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