2015 Volume 32 Pages 2-22
Nano/micromotors exhibiting regulated motions are ubiquitous in nature, with biological ones having highly sophisticated and functional properties. However, nano/micromotors have not been applied in the design of useful man-made chemical systems to our knowledge. In this article, we review artificial nano/micromotors that have been proposed in the last decade. The underlying physics is completely different from that of conventional macroscale motors. The viscous force dominates the regulated motion of a nano/micromotor, in which thermal fluctuation converts into active Brownian motion. To overcome the viscous force and sustain motion, motors driven by various types of mechanisms have been fabricated. We focus on chemical reaction propelled motors classified into catalytic and self-reacted ones because most biomotors move by consuming chemical energy. Furthermore, the directional control of artificial nano/micromotors by chemotaxis, external field, and confined space is also discussed. As this hot and challenging topic is still currently at a fundamental stage, practical research will be required for developing various applications. We expect that chemical systems mimicking elegant biological ones will be realized in the near future.