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Solar-battery effect enables a new light-driven organic microswimmer to operate in the dark
A microswimmer that swims through a liquid and operates much like a solar-battery. Copyright: e-conversion (Vera Hiendl)

Solar-battery effect enables a new light-driven organic microswimmer to operate in the dark

An interdisciplinary team of scientists at the Max Planck Institutes for Intelligent Systems and Solid State Research has developed a biocompatible microswimmer made of carbon nitride, which they can propel forward through light. The particle can also store solar energy similar to miniature solar cells equipped with batteries, and can thus also swim in the dark using the stored energy. Even if the illumination is turned off, it can move forward for about half an hour with just 30 seconds of prior illumination. The photo-charging ability of this newly developed microswimmer opens up many opportunities for targeted drug delivery, environmental remediation, and other potential applications for such photo-chargeable micro- and nanomachines.


microswimmers PHI-based microswimmers remediation applications biocompatibility silicon dioxide carbon nitride based microswimmers Physical Intelligence Department Nanochemistry Department Bettina Lotsch wireless micromachines solar battery-like properties

People

pi Varun Sridhar
Varun Sridhar
Ph.D. Student
Filip Podjaski
Filip Podjaski
Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research
Bettina Lotsch
Bettina Lotsch
Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research
pi Metin Sitti
Metin Sitti
Director
sg Linda Behringer
Linda Behringer
Public Relations Officer