Swarming of Perovskite-Like Bi2WO6 Microrobots Destroy Textile Fibers under Visible Light

Katherine Villa, Lukáš Děkanovský, Jan Plutnar, Jiří Kosina, Martin Pumera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The increasing demand for disposable textiles for multi-cleansing purposes has led to an uncontrollable accumulation of macro- and microdebris in water bodies, resulting in major environmental disruptions and a threat to ecosystems. Considering the emerging nature of this type of contamination, there is still no current treatment to tackle this environmental problem. Here, self-propelled bismuth tungstate microrobots that can actively move under light irradiation, swarm, and destroy disposable textiles through oxidative pathways are presented. Upon sun-like illumination, these micromachines attack and degrade both the intertwined network of natural/synthetic textiles and their organic ingredients that are subsequently released into the water. The high efficiency arises from the enhanced intimate contact between the self-propelled microrobots and the surface of the textiles. This work provides a unique strategy to treat emerging solid waste contamination in water bodies at mild conditions by combining photoactivated microrobots, collective behavior, and photocatalysis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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