Volume 106, Number 5, June 2014
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Interdisciplinary Physics and Related Areas of Science and Technology|
|Published online||09 June 2014|
Electrokinetic effects in catalytic platinum-insulator Janus swimmers
1 Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Sheffield - Sheffield, S1 3JD, UK
2 School of Mathematics, University of Bristol - Clifton, Bristol BS8 1TW, UK
3 Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics - 1 Keble Road, Oxford, OX1 3NP, UK
Received: 7 April 2014
Accepted: 15 May 2014
The effect of added salt on the propulsion of Janus platinum-polystyrene colloids in hydrogen peroxide solution is studied experimentally. It is found that micromolar quantities of potassium and silver nitrate salts reduce the swimming velocity by similar amounts, while leading to significantly different effects on the overall rate of catalytic breakdown of hydrogen peroxide. It is argued that the seemingly paradoxical experimental observations could be theoretically explained by using a generalised reaction scheme that involves charged intermediates and has the topology of two nested loops.
PACS: 87.19.ru – Locomotion / 81.07.Oj – Nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) / 82.45.-h – Electrochemistry and electrophoresis
© EPLA, 2014
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