\”the phactalysts\”: Carbon nanotube/TiO2 composites as phototropic actuators for wireless remote triggering of chemical reactions and catalysis

Year: 2017

Authors: Vassalini I., Alessandri I.

Autors Affiliation: INSTM, Chemistry for Technologies Laboratory, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, University of Brescia, via Branze 38, Brescia, 25123, Italy

Abstract: A new concept of a reconfigurable smart catalyst was developed from the synergistic combination of polycarbonate/carbon nanotube bimorph photoactuators and TiO2. The addition of TiO2 provides the photoactuators with photocatalytic activity and superior opto-mechanical properties, making phototropic actuation fast, reversible and responsive to Vis-NIR light sources. These composites were tested in the wireless, light-driven and spatially controlled remote triggering of different chemical reactions, including local explosions and photocatalytic polymerizations. The same materials were also investigated as efficient opto-mechanical shutters for the light-selective inhibition or activation of specific reactions, such as the photo-induced degradation of organic dyes. These results suggest that the integration of photocatalysts with soft photoactuators can open intriguing opportunities for chemistry and soft robotics.

Journal/Review: NANOSCALE

Volume: 9 (32)      Pages from: 11446  to: 11451

More Information: We are grateful to Prof. Matteo Ferroni (University of Brescia) for SEM images. This work was carried out in the framework of the project: \”Microsfere adattative per il monitoraggio e l\’abbattimento di inquinanti persistenti-MI ADATTI E L\’ABBATTI\” supported by INSTM and Regione Lombardia.

DOI: 10.1039/c7nr05104b

Citations: 15
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