Material-dependent performance of fuel-free, light-activated, self-propelling colloids

Andrew Leeth Holterhoff, Victoria Girgis, John G. Gibbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Self-propelling, light-activated colloidal particles can be actuated in water alone. Here we study the effect of adding different amounts of a gold/palladium alloy to titanium dioxide-based, active colloids. We observe a correlation between alloy-thickness and the average speed of the particles, and we discover an intermediate thickness leads to the highest activity for this system. We argue that a non-continuous thin-film of the co-catalyst improves the efficiency of water-splitting at the surface of the particles, and in-turn, the performance of "fuel-free" self-propulsion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4082-4085
Number of pages4
JournalChemical Communications
Issue number29
StatePublished - Apr 14 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • General Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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