Photocatalytic Pt/Ag3VO4 micromotors with inherent sensing capabilities for corroding environments

Mario Palacios-Corella, Daniel Rojas, Martin Pumera

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Autonomous self-propelled micromachines based on semiconductors are at the forefront of environmental pollutants degradation research to palliate the effects of the contamination arising from the constant manufacturing of new products. Nonetheless, testing these micromotors with real-life products is almost an unexplored field, limiting the degradation of pollutants to single-component aqueous solutions or suspensions at the laboratory scale, which hinders the translation of these micromachines into useful systems. Herein, Ag3VO4 has been devised as a micromotor by an asymmetric deposition of a thin layer of Pt, giving rise to Pt/Ag3VO4 micromotors (Janus particle). Their motion capabilities have been demonstrated under UV light in fuel-free conditions. Their photocatalytic performance at laboratory scale has been confirmed for the degradation of Rhodamine B while, as a first approximation of a real-life application, the degradation of an energy drink has also been tested. During this latter exploration, the Pt/Ag3VO4 micromotors were corroded by the citric acid present in the pollutant, releasing Ag nanoparticles into the media. As a proof of concept, the position of the generated Ag nanoparticles’ surface plasmon resonance absorption maximum has been demonstrated to show a dependency on the concentration of citric acid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-134
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Feb

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
M.P. acknowledges the financial support of Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (EXPRO: 19-26896X). Authors acknowledge CzechNanoLab Research Infrastructure supported by LM2018110 MEYS CR 2020–2022.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Inc.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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