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Optimal Length of Low Reynolds Number Nanopropellers

2015

Article

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Locomotion in fluids at the nanoscale is dominated by viscous drag. One efficient propulsion scheme is to use a weak rotating magnetic field that drives a chiral object. Froth bacterial flagella to artificial drills, the corkscrew is a universally useful chiral shape for propulsion in viscous environments. Externally powered magnetic micro- and nanomotors have been recently developed that allow for precise fuel-free propulsion in complex media. Here, we combine analytical and numerical theory with experiments on nanostructured screw-propellers to show that the optimal length is surprisingly short only about one helical turn, which is shorter than most of the structures in use to date. The results have important implications for the design of artificial actuated nano- and micropropellers and can dramatically reduce fabrication times, while ensuring optimal performance.

Author(s): Walker (Schamel), Debora and Kuebler, M. and Morozov, K. I. and Fischer, Peer. and Leshansky, A. M.
Journal: Nano Letters
Volume: 15
Number (issue): 7
Pages: 4412-4416
Year: 2015
Month: June

Department(s): Micro, Nano, and Molecular Systems
Bibtex Type: Article (article)

DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.5b01925
State: Published

BibTex

@article{ISI:000357964100026,
  title = {Optimal Length of Low Reynolds Number Nanopropellers},
  author = {Walker (Schamel), Debora and Kuebler, M. and Morozov, K. I. and Fischer, Peer. and Leshansky, A. M.},
  journal = {Nano Letters},
  volume = {15},
  number = {7},
  pages = {4412-4416},
  month = jun,
  year = {2015},
  month_numeric = {6}
}